It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
FRESH CUT: University of Wisconsin basketball player Bronson Koenig showed off a buzz cut with what appears to be an eagle feather cut into his hair as an homage to American Indians and his Ho-Chunk heritage.
PROOF: Final analysis of 9,000-year-old ancient DNA published June 18 shows The Ancient One is indeed an ancestor of present day Native Americans—as Indians have said all along.
POPE KNOWS: Pope Francis has released his encyclical on climate change, with Indigenous Peoples’ cultural and land rights as major factors both underlying the issues and in seeking solutions. Indigenous Peoples’ spiritual connection with the environment makes common sense, the 192-page document implies.
SHUT OUT: The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has ruled against allowing tribal input at a hearing at the end of July that will determine whether TransCanada needs to resubmit its application to run the Keystone XL pipeline through that state.
MAJOR STEP: The California Senate Education committee approved historic legislation that would eliminate "redskin," a dictionary-defined racial slur, as a mascot for all public schools statewide.
RESOLUTION'S SIDE: An executive with Resolution Copper, which managed to secure 2,400 acres of sacred Apache land under which lie ore deposits, sat down with ICTMN. He said that far from being aloof, the company has been rebuffed in its attempts to connect with the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona.
STOP THE MADNESS: As news about the climate heats up, a rare alliance of more than 100 scientists—from economists to biologists to geophysicists—have written an open letter to the Conservative government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to stop development in the Alberta oil sands.
TOP RIDER: Delvecchio Kaye, Navajo, is riding in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. Kaye, a bareback rider, is a member of the Diné College Rodeo Team, and he ended his freshman season in 2nd place in the Grand Canyon Regional standings, and 16th in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standings.
GOOD BILL: A bill sponsored by U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) to improve the lives of Native children was unanimously passed on June 8 by the Senate after receiving unanimous approval in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in February.
HOPE FOR CHANGE: A Hopi adviser who journeyed to Paris to try to stop an auction of sacred katsinam spoke with ICTMN. "We do not know when or how our katsinas left," said Sam Tenakhongva. "But they are an important part of our life, and should be back in our communities."