Gunman Hector Celaya, the Colorado River, and Johnny Depp as Tonto

Gunman Hector Celaya, the Colorado River, and Johnny Depp as Tonto

The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

A roundup of the big stories in Indian Country for the week ending December 16, 2012:

• Massive Native Art Auction: A Native American art auction brought in $1.28 million for Bonhams in San Francisco, California on December 3 with a Navajo child’s blanket taking the top spot selling for $60,000.

• 5 Killed in Tule Indian Reservation Shooting: In a tragic series of events last weekend on the Tule Indian Reservation in California, tribal member Hector Celaya went on a veritable shooting rampage that left his daughter, mother and two brothers dead.

• Snowbowl Protestors Charged: Three activists were charged in federal District Court in Flagstaff, Arizona, with disrupting work in a U.S. Forest Service office, following a protest they staged there over snowmaking with treated effluent on the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

• Tonto Talks to a Horse: The second trailer for the upcoming movie version of The Lone Ranger has been posted to Disney UK's YouTube page. Many Indians who saw the first trailer were disappointed to hear Tonto speaking in the stereotypical Hollywood Indian-ese. This time around, Tonto speaks to Silver, the Lone Ranger's horse.

• Joy Harjo Performs at Tel Aviv University: American Indian writer and musician Joy Harjo stood firm in her decision to perform at Tel Aviv University in Israel on Monday despite being urged to boycott in support of those protesting the country’s continuing bombardment of Palestinians.

• Benefit for Leonard Peltier: On December 14 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, musicians including Jackson Browne, Common and Pete Seeger played "Bring Leonard Peltier Home in 2012," a benefit for imprisoned Anishinabe-Lakota activist Leonard Peltier.

• Sacred Sites Protection: Four federal government departments have signed a five-year agreement to work together to improve the protection of Indian sacred sites on federal lands and tribal access to them.

• Colorado River Water Supply Slowly Falling Short: A comprehensive, years-long effort called the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study finds that the Colorado River – which is the lifeblood to 40 million people and no less than 22 tribes – stands to fall at least 3.2 million acre-feet short of its users’ needs by 2060. And even the most ambitious water-saving strategies won’t fully ease the strain. That’s the main finding of .

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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

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