Indian Country Today Media Network is looking back on the year that was 2011 throughout a variety of posts. In this post, ICTMN looks at the Top 10 stories from our site throughout the year.
The stories covered a variety of topics spanning the positive and negative realms and many generated a lot of reader feedback. Stories about hate crimes against American Indians to the super-talented Shoni Schimmel or the use of Geronimo in reference to Osama Bin Laden to the Wildfires of New Mexico and asteroids, ICTMN covered it.
Here were the Top 10 stories of 2011:
Johnny and Lisa Bonta, a Native family from the Reno Sparks Indian Colony, became the latest victims of an apparent hate crime on May 24 when they were allegedly attacked at a gas station along I-80 in Fernley, Nevada, a border town between the Fallon and Pyramid Lake Indian reservations.
As news of Osama bin Laden’s death spread relief across America and the world, revelations that the assigned code name of Enemy Number One was “Geronimo,” a legendary Apache leader, caused shock waves in Indian communities across the country. It is being interpreted as a slap in the face of Native people, a disturbing message that equates an iconic symbol of Native American pride with the most hated evildoer since Adolf Hitler.
When Redfern Mianscum built a sweat lodge in his Cree community last October, he was hoping it would bring about spiritual healing. Instead, it brought criticism and a controversial ban on Native spirituality and sweat lodges.
ICTMN’s coverage of the wildfires that threatened Los Alamos in June. The fire that swelled at the time of the reporting to between 45,000 and 60,000 acres was a threat to numerous areas.
ICTMN received a letter in October from a concerned member of the Santee Sioux nation that was addressed to the CEO of Urban Outfitters in regards to concerns of the store’s Native themed clothing and accessories.
On December 1, the United States Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA/S. 1867) which includes a provision that would approve the indefinite military detention of anyone, including U.S. citizens, “under the law of war without trial.”
CLOVIS, Calif. – On June 14th, also known as Flag Day, Patty Dawson, Navajo and San Carlos Apache, was at a stop sign in the small town of Clovis when a car behind her bumped into her lightly. What happened next she will never forget. Three people from the car, who Dawson described as “skinheads,” and witnesses say two of them had swastika tattoos, attacked Dawson leaving her unconscious and bleeding.
A quick look into the talented Shoni Schimmel as her teammates even admit to YouTubing her clips. Schimmel who plays for the University of Louisville is one of a few Native American female basketball players in the college ranks.
YU55, the asteroid that flew between the earth and the moon November 8, is named after the year it was discovered. Although it is gaining notoriety because of its close passage by Mother Earth, it is just one of more than 150,000 chunks of rock orbiting in our solar system. Those that hit the earth’s atmosphere burn up in cascades of light, such as the Orionid Meteor Shower of October. Others fall to earth as meteorites. At least three asteroids have Indian names.
On Friday, October 14th, the ABC television network aired “Hidden America: Children of the Plains,” an episode of 20/20 hosted by Diane Sawyer that highlighted the lives of Native youth living on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The stars of the program were its young subjects.