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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 8, 2015

News stories for Native Americans on topics including the NCAI, Gogebic Taconite, Dsquared2, San Nicolas Island, Navajo Nation, and Keystone XL.
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It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

TAKING A STAND: Two high schools in New York are refusing to play an opponent due to its nickname and mascot. Akron and Lake Shore high schools, both of western New York, cancelled lacrosse games against Lancaster High School, home of the "Redskins."

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: A state commission has recommended to legislators that statues of two pre-statehood figures representing Oregon in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall be replaced by statues of Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph and women’s rights advocate Abigail Scott Duniway.

WOLVES IN THE CROSSHAIRS: The second lawsuit in three weeks has been filed against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services program over the federally sanctioned killing of wolves and other wildlife.

DREAMS COMING TRUE: Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills announced the names of ten American Indian youth who will receive $10,000 in funding for their dream projects under Mills’s non-profit Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

PAYDAY PREDATORS: Those “Cash Loans Now” or “Payday Loan” signs on storefronts draw in vulnerable customers in regions of the country like New Mexico, and are particularly detrimental to Native communities.

NEW JERSEY: During NCAI’s winter session in Washington, D.C., President Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Washington State Swinomish Tribe, made good on a Super Bowl bet. Cladoosby, who rooted for the Seattle Seahawks, was forced to wear a New England Patriots jersey, which was presented to him on stage by Narragansett Tribe council member Randy Noka.

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HISTORY'S MYSTERIES: The U.S. Navy published its findings that Indigenous people who lived on San Nicolas Island, including the famous "Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island" who inspired the novel The Island of the Blue Dolphins, share a "group identity" with the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians.

NATIVES TAKE THE STAGE: The popular Austin, Texas media festival South by Southwest (SXSW—which bills itself as a showcase of all things "music, film, interactive") will get a taste of Native American rock and roll on March 21 when John Trudell, Scatter Their Own, and Sihasin take the stage for the Native American Showcase.

WATCH OUT: The Navajo Nation is sounding the alarm about federal legislation that could cost the tribe $81 million this year in funds for housing projects, if Congress approves it as written.

PIPELINE FIGHT: The U.S. Senate’s attempt to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that would have forced the Keystone XL pipeline through fell short by five votes on Wednesday, though Republicans did not back down from their support.

D-WHAT?: On Monday, the fashion label Dsquared2 showcased a Native-themed line dubbed "Dsquaw" at its Fall/Winter 2015 Women’s Show in Milan, Italy.

ELK ISSUE: Three Crow tribal members have been cited in Wyoming for shooting elk out of season. Clayvin Herrera is one of those, along with his brother Colbert Herrera and Ronnie Fisher. Herrera is also captain of the Crow Fish and Game Department, in charge of both enforcement and conservation.

BATTLE WON: Gogebic Taconite announced that it is closing its office in Hurley, Wisconsin and, for now, putting plans on hold to build a huge open pit iron ore mine in the pristine Penokee Mountains in Northern Wisconsin.

POT CONFAB: On Saturday, February 28 some 75 tribal leaders from across the country met to discuss forming the first “Tribal Cannabis Association” at the Tulalip Resort Casino on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington State.