Our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
OKLAHOMA TORNADO: A massive tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, the hometown of U.S. Representative Tom Cole, on Monday May 20, killing at least 50 people and decimating a school with children inside.As it emerged that the homes of 20 American Indian families had been destroyed in Moore, Oklahoma, earlier this week, tribes across Oklahoma and the nation began gathering resources in support of disaster relief efforts in Moore and the surrounding communities.
STICKWORK: University at Albany men’s lacrosse attackman Lyle Thompson, a member of the Onondaga Nation, has earned the 2013 United States Inside Lacrosse Association Lt. Col. J.L. (Jack) Turnbull Award, given to the top attackman in Division I Men’s Lacrosse.
INDIAN BOB HONORED: Disabled American Veterans has awarded Robert "Bob" Primeaux, Standing Rock Sioux, the 2013 Sonny Montgomery Helping Hands Award. The award is named after longtime Mississippi Congressman G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, who served in World War II. Primeaux is the first American Indian to receive this honor, which is presented annually by DAV to a veteran who is making a real difference to help the lives of others.
EXHIBIT CLOSED: Talks are scheduled and Colorado’s flagship history museum has said it will close a controversial Sand Creek Massacre exhibit while it consults with tribes about the 1864 atrocity that’s now presented in the History Colorado Center as merely a clash of cultures on the territory’s journey to statehood.
MORE HELP ON THE WAY: President Obama made additional disaster assistance available to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He authorized an increase in the level of federal funding for Public Assistance projects undertaken by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as a result of severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides for the period of January 14-17.
A NATIVE IN CHARGE: With prospectors set to descend upon the Arctic faster than its ice is melting, Canada took the helm of the Arctic Council on May 15 as Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq became the first indigenous person to chair the eight-member intergovernmental forum.
AGREEMENT REACHED: The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and New York State have reached an agreement that will end a three-year dispute over the tribe’s gaming exclusivity zone and revenue-sharing from its slot machine profits and begin a process to resolve the Indian nation’s longstanding land rights lawsuits.
LOGO SCRAPPED: Winter School District in western Wisconsin has decided to change the American Indian logo its sports teams have used for decades. They will remain known as the Warriors.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Nicole Schultz Walls, Chickasaw, is the youngest president in the history of the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women. The organization's board has recognized the exceptional time and effort she dedicates to the Native American community with its American Indian Woman of the Year Award.
SCHIMMEL GOES GLOBAL: After leading the Louisville Cardinals on a superb, unprecedented run to the national title game in the 2013 NCAA women's basketball tournament, Shoni Schimmel, Umatilla, is joining Team USA.