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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 22, 2015

News stories of interest to Native Americans, on topics including Arizona Snowbowl, Louise Erdrich, Carlisle School, and hoops player Bronson Koenig.
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It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

HOME FRONT: Native leaders testified at a Senate hearing Wednesday that housing efforts across Indian country have shown early success, but more is needed to address the pervasive epidemic of homelessness.

SELF-SUSTAINING: Kaben Smallwood has a dream: One day, every Native American tribe will grow its own food and conserve natural resources in the process, too. The Choctaw Native is well on his way to achieving that ambitious goal through Symbiotic, LLC, a company he founded in 2012 with his brother, Shelby.

DO IT RIGHT: Activists are looking for descendants of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School to get their input for development of a Heritage Center at the farmhouse located in the present-day Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

DECOLONIZE COMICS: A Winnipeg branch of the Canadian bookstore chain Chapters pulled a racially insentitive Tintin comic from its shelves—but ultimately decided to continue selling it.

FALLEN GUARDIAN: Flags across Arizona were at half-mast on Saturday to honor Navajo Nation police officer and U.S. Marine Corp veteran Alex Yazzie, who was shot dead in the line of duty on March 19. Two other officers were wounded but are expected to survive, while the suspect was also fatally shot.

LITERARY LION: Famed award-winning Ojibwe writer Louise Erdrich has earned the highest literary honor in the land: She will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in September, the federal institution announced on March 17.

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TAKING A TUMBLE: For just the second time in his professional career, George (Comanche Boy) Tahdooahnippah had to watch the referee raise his opponent’s arm. Tahdooahnippah, who has Comanche and Choctaw ancestry, was defeated by Denmark's Patrick Nielsen in a super middleweight bout, which had the vacant World Boxing Association's Intercontinental belt on the line.

A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE: The Navajo Nation is seeking international help to protect its sacred San Francisco Peaks from reclaimed sewage water being used by the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. The Nation has filed a complaint against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, alleging violations of the Navajo people’s rights to practice their religion and culture.

IMPORTANT EVIDENCE: An Alaska inmate is asking a state court to keep from being admitted as evidence a file containing comments he may have made to a public defender that he was involved in the October 12, 1997 beating death of Fairbanks teenager John Hartman. The Alaska Innocence Project says the file could lead to the exoneration of four Native men—George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent—now in prison for Hartman’s death.

ANOTHER PIPELINE FIGHT: The Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation) has formally lodged its opposition to a 1,100-mile-long underground pipeline that would carry 570,000 barrels of Bakken crude daily across 343 miles of Iowa to Patoka, Illinois and from there to the Gulf Coast.

CHANGE IS GONNA COME: School district officials in Lancaster, New York voted unanimously Monday night to change its controversial high school nickname. The Lancaster Central School District Board hosted a special meeting where they determined the word 'redskin' is offensive to Native Americans.

HOT SHOT: Bronson Koenig, Ho-Chunk Nation, scored 18 points to help Wisconsin rally past Michigan State in an overtime thriller last Sunday for the Big Ten Championship.

TREATY TRAVELS: A delegation from Muscogee (Creek) nation was on hand in Washington, D.C. on March 16 to witness the arrival of the 1790 Treaty of New York. The treaty is part of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian “Nation to Nation Treaties Between the U.S. and American Indian Nations” exhibit.