The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 9, 2013

A roundup of the big stories in Indian country, from the Cleveland Indians to George Washington and Johnny Depp.

It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

TATANKA PRAISED: The film Tiger Eyes opened to favorable reviews in New York City and selected theaters, even though its Native star, Tatanka Means, was a world away -- in his Lakota homelands, at a sundance honoring the memory of his late father, actor and activist Russell Means.

NO MEETING: Leaders of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) say that an off-the-record meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder is not worth the sacrifice to their belief in a free and open press—ideals they have fought for since the founding of the organization in 1984.

HOLLYWOOD TO SHIPROCK: Actor Martin Sheen visited the 2013 Native Vision Sports and Life Skills camp in Shiprock, New Mexico. Sheen was there to teach acting and participate in a collection of skits, under the rubric of "The Navajo News."

REMAINS FOUND: On May 3, The Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department released a statement following the findings of human remains west of Sells, Arizona.

BOWING TO PRESSURE: A wooden statue of an American Indian Chief representing an Indiana school's "Redskins" mascot was temporarily removed from the gym last Friday ahead of a June 9 graduation ceremony -- but after an outpouring of criticism from the community via social media, the school reversed its decision.

MORE TRICK THAN TREAT: The Disney store is now offering a Halloween costume based on the getup worn by Johnny Depp's Tonto -- complete with controversial bird headdress -- in the upcoming film The Lone Ranger.

OOPS: The Cleveland Indians organization said the team will not use a Fourth-of-July cap that gave their Chief Wahoo logo an extra level of offensiveness with a resemblance to blackface.

WALKOUT IN WISCONSIN: About 15 students staged a walkout from Bayfield High School in Wisconsin on Monday, June 3 citing racial intolerance and insensitivity toward Native Americans.

EVEN WASHINGTON KNEW: A letter from George Washington recently acquired by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin describes the killing of three Mingo Indians by white settlers as “villainy” and “mischief.”

ANOTHER NY WIN: For at least 40 years, New York state's Canisteo-Greenwood High School has been known as the Redskins, with a Native mascot to accompany the nickname. But that's all about to change.

DOUBLE STANDARD: While a Native American student from Alabama could still face a $1,000 fine and has yet to receive her diploma for wearing a single eagle feather on her graduation cap May 23, the Christian Valedictorian of a South Carolina school was cheered for reciting the Lord’s Prayer during his graduation speech.