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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, May 3, 2015

News stories of interest to Native Americans, on topics including Adam Sandler, Gathering of Nations, Miss Indian World, and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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

MORE RIDICULOUSNESS: The controversy surrounding Adam Sandler's film The Ridiculos Six continued to be the biggest story in Indian country. Last weekend, Twitter activists drew attention to the situation with #WalkoffNetflix and #NotYourHollywoodIndian hashtags. We heard a story of frustration from the film's cultural consultant, and two of the actors who led the walkoff shared their thoughts on the action. There was also the curious case of Vanilla Ice, who had brought up his supposed Native ancestry while trying to defend Sandler, a claim met with skepticism by Choctaw researchers.

NOVEL IDEA: The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is celebrating the 147th anniversary of the signing of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty by … enforcing it. The tribe voted to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and evict TransCanada from its lands “in direct response to the unethical business practices that TransCanada has demonstrated over the last six years,” the tribe said.

HE'LL BE BACK: Colorado State House Representative Joe Salazar vowed to reintroduce a bill next year that was swiftly cut down by the Republican-led Senate late Wednesday. The bill, had it passed, would've established an all-Native American subcommittee to assess whether a school's Indian mascot is appropriate.

FOOTBALL UBER ALLES: It appears the artifacts of yet another ancient civilization are going to be paved over with the construction of the new St. Louis stadium. The proposed site for the nearly one-billion-dollar stadium happens to be in the vicinity of where a once thriving Native American town with a vast plaza and nearly two dozen earthen mounds existed about 900 years ago.

UNFAIR VULNERABILITY: In light of the controversy over the Biloxi High School marching band, we're seeing that Facebook's "real name" policy is more than an annoyance—it's a vulnerability to be exploited by those who dislike what an American Indian is saying.

AND THE WINNER IS: Ms. Cheyenne Brady (Sac and Fox/Cheyenne/Tonkawa) was crowned 2015 Miss Indian World at the 2015 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque.

TEAMWORK: A new phase in the fight to protect the Blackfeet’s sacred Badger–Two Medicine traditional homelands has pulled together improbable allies including 17 tribes and nations in Washington and Canada, Senator Jon Tester and the rock group Pearl Jam.

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS: Housing on the Navajo Nation is about to get a major upgrade, thanks in part to an energetic partnership between tribal housing officials and a former Frank Lloyd Wright protégé. The Bluestone Project, set to break ground this summer and begin housing people by next year, is the culmination of years of research and planning—with input from thousands of years of indigenous knowledge.

THREATENED BUT UNDETERRED: Winning an international environmental award highlighted Berta Cáceres’ efforts to block a dam in her people’s homeland in Honduras, but it has not stopped the death threats. “There have been many—they have intensified since December,” said Cáceres, a Lenca leader and co-founder of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras.