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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, August 17, 2014

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

DIRTY SNOW: The City of Flagstaff has extended the controversial Snowbowl’s wastewater contract for 20 years. This means that the mountains sacred to 13 tribes will be subject to artificial snow made from treated sewage through 2034.

SCHOOL SAVED: Plans to demolish a public school with strong ties to Seattle’s Native community have been sent back to the drawing board. The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted 7-1 on July 16 to designate Wilson-Pacific School a city landmark. That prevents Seattle Public Schools officials from proceeding with plans to demolish the school so a new school can be built in its place.

UNIFORM COMES HOME: After more than 15 years in limbo, the uniform of George H. Kirk Sr. returned home and was unveiled on August 14, during a ceremony at the Navajo Nation Museum in honor of Navajo Code Talkers Day.

LAX STAR INKS: Two-time Division I All-American and Rochester Rattler rookie Ty Thompson has signed an agreement with Epoch Lacrosse making him the first athlete to secure an endorsement deal with the company.

IT AIN'T OVER: Lawyers for the Washington Redskins football team filed an appeal on August 14 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. Their goal is to overturn a recent decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that cancelled the team’s trademarks on the basis that the team’s name is disparaging.

CIAO: Eighteen-year-old Brianna Olguin got the surprise of her life when the cast of The Buried Life, a reality documentary on MTV, arrived at her high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They checked Olguin out of her school and took her on a spontaneous trip to Italy.

POINTING OUT THE OBVIOUS: The Joint Affinity Groups, a national network of identity-based philanthropic organizations, issued a statement on Thursday saying that Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation “is treating Native communities disrespectfully” and “failing to follow” the best practices that philanthropic organizations should seek to accomplish.

DEFEAT: The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has lost its 12-year legal battle to stop the construction of Eagle Mine on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A three-judge panel on the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on August 13 that state regulators were within their rights in allowing Kennecott Minerals Co. to build a nickel and copper mine.

PUT IT OUT: Twenty Cherokee Nation Fire Dancers were deployed Wednesday to help fight wildfires in California. The Fire Dancers will work up to 16-hour shifts daily doing initial attacks to suppress further unmanned fires from breaking out.

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