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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, September 25, 2016

Dakota Access pipeline struggle ups and downs, a WW2 vet walked on, and another Mayan codex earned street cred, the week before September 25, 2016.
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Dakota Access went international in a big way, a marine national monument was quadrupled, and autumn happened. That and more in Indian country the week ending 25 September, 2016.

EXPANDING SCOPE: As support, both Native and non-Native, continued to stream in for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from all quarters of the globe, Chairman David Archambault II gave statements before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva one day, and a group of House Democrats in Washington DC the next. Members of the Ak-Chin Indian Community drove 24 hours straight to join those standing against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, while the Sandia Pueblo held a march in Albuquerque. Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull wrote about her family’s experience visiting Standing Rock. Mary Annette Pember shared her story of how Standing Rock might just convince her 12-year-old son to keep his braid. Celebrity support continued to pour in and also go national, with Snowden star Shailene Woodley appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers next to Sen. Bernie Sanders, and giving the two men NoDAPL t-shirts after talking about why Hillary Clinton has a unique opportunity to appeal to millennials by taking a stance on something like the Dakota Access pipeline. As Archambault was testifying at the U.N., 1,281 archaeological experts from museums and other institutions were busy signing a petition calling for a more thorough review of the pipeline’s route and potentially affected sacred places. The archaeologists were appalled at the sacred sites’ destruction, but many more were stricken when it came to light that the owners of Cannonball Ranch had sold their property to Dakota Access LLC. The following day the federal government made good on its promise to invite tribes for nation-to-nation consultation. Neverthess, the whole thing was decades in the making and highlighted the racism particular to North Dakota.

SICK HEALER IMPRISONED: Mapuche activists called for the release from prison of revered indigenous healer Machi Francisca Linconao, suffering from severe medical problems. Mapuche advocates said the revered healer of bodies and spirits was jailed for fighting illegal logging in her region of southern Chile and for proving that Chile violated an international treaty protecting indigenous rights.

INDIGO ANCESTORS: The use of indigo was thought to date back to ancient Egypt 4,400 years ago, but new samples have been discovered in Peru pre-dating that by about 2,000 years. A team of scientists from the U.S., Belgium, Portugal, and the U.K. have pushed back the first use of Indigofera tinctoria as blue fabric dye in the world to South America 6,200 years ago. Again, Indigenous Peoples got there first.

MAYAN CODEX REDUX: A new study claims to have validated a fourth Mayan codex that escaped the Spanish efforts to destroy all evidence of written language in the Americas.

UNDERWATER TREASURE: President Barack Obama has signed an executive order expanding a Marine National Monument containing sites with great significance to Native Hawaiians. Papah?naumoku?kea is also a World Heritage Site designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which means it could be designated for natural significance or cultural significance or a mixture of the two.

IT’S … MAGIC! The word “magic” has magically disappeared from the Dictionary.com definition of pow wow. In March, Dictionary.com came under fire for its definition of “powwow” after ICTMN reported that the popular dictionary website described a powwow as a ceremony “accompanied by magic.”

NO JUSTICE, NO ANSWERS: The estate of a 5-year-old Hoh Tribe boy is suing the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and the Riverside School District, alleging their failure to follow policies regarding foster-home placement and the reporting of possible child abuse led to the boy’s death. Cynthia Khaleel is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her nephew, Gary Blanton III. She pleaded innocent; her trial is scheduled to begin on February 6, 2017 in Spokane County Superior Court.

THE DAYS THEY PASS SO QUICKLY NOW: It may be boiling hot across large swathes of Turtle Island, but the underlying reality has not changed: Today marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. At precisely 10:21 a.m. on Thursday September 22, the sun crossed precisely over Earth’s equator, and fall happened.

WORLD WAR II VET WALKS ON: Felix Aripa, a Coeur d’Alene tribal elder, walked on at age 93. The elder fondly known as Grandpa by many served in the Navy during World War II, the last Coeur d’Alene tribal member to have done so.