The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, November 30, 2014

News stories of interest to Native Americans, on topics including Thanksgiving, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Washington Redskins, and St. Joseph's.

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

THAT TIME OF YEAR: It was Thanksgiving week—and the problematic holiday was cause for introspection, education, and protest. In Minneapolis, a strip club's "Titsgiving" event sparked outrage, while the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving address struck a chord with many ICTMN readers. 

COMPETITOR: Waneek Horn-Miller's resume includes a Pan American Games gold medal. And now, the Mohawk woman, a former Canadian national team water polo player, will help others achieve some Pan Am glory.

REALLY, SNYDER? REALLY?: A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Washington football team has the right to sue five Native Americans over the cancellation of the team’s trademarks. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone recently named Snyder the number one worst owner in sports.

RISE UP: Kinder Morgan is seeking a $5.4 billion pipeline expansion that would stretch from the Alberta oil sands to Burnaby. Support is streaming in from First Nations, the most recent being Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, British Columbia, which declared “unwavering support for the keepers of the sacred fire on Burnaby Mountain.”

NEVER FORGET: This year marks the 150th anniversary since the Sand Creek Massacre, a tragic and unnecessary event of November 29, 1864 forever changed Indian relations with the U.S. government. What was the climate like in the years leading up to what happened at Sand Creek? An ICTMN timeline helps paint the picture.

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: Tuesday saw the release of Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985, a new 2 CD/3 LP box set that surveys Canadian and northern U.S. Native artists from those years of protest and change within Native culture. 

STAR PLAYER: Ole Miss softball continued building for the future with the addition of standout Mississippi player Hailey Lunderman, Sicangu Lakota /Choctaw, Mississippi head coach Mike Smith announced on Tuesday.

LESSON LEARNED: St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, responded to a scandal involving fund-raising methods that had been brought to light by a CNN report. "A great lesson was learned," a school attorney told ICTMN. "It has caused some pretty intense introspection."

VERDICT: It only took the jury five hours to convict the former executive director of the Choctaw Nation’s construction administration on six federal charges in Oklahoma Eastern District court Thursday evening. Jason Brett Merida was found guilty on two counts of tax fraud, two counts of theft, and one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.