It's our roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
HARPER WAITS: Senate sources have confirmed that lawyer Keith Harper’s nomination to become a human rights ambassador with the State Department is off – for now, at least – as the Senate did not move on his nomination before its holiday recess.
HOMEWARD BOUND: After years in limbo, hundreds of Native American ancestors are going home: State and federal officials joined tribal representatives to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, allowing for human remains housed in various museums and universities to be reinterred on public lands in Colorado.
FIGHTING WIND: Wind farms are killing birds, including eagles, and the government of President Barack Obama has just decreed it to be collateral damage in the quest for clean energy.The Osage Tribe has registered its objections.
FAREWELL, BILLY: Tom Laughlin, the writer/director/star of Billy Jack, a movie that Natives embraced in droves in the '70s, died at the age of 82.
GALBRAITH OUT: In a move that had been expected by Native affairs insiders for some time, Charles Galbraith has announced to tribal leaders that he is leaving the Obama administration.
NATIVE CHEF SEEKS BACKING: Navajo chef Freddie Bitsoie is launching a travel, cooking and culture show called Rezervations Not Required and needs to raise $40,000 to fund its production.
REID OPPOSED SKINS: Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has joined several of his congressional colleagues who have denounced “Redskins” and called on Dan Snyder to change the team’s name.
IDLE NO MORE RECOGNIZED: Foreign Policy magazine has named the four founders of Idle No More—Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean and Nina Wilson—among its list of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013 “for demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.”
PIPELINE PICKS UP STEAM: A three-member environmental review panel in Canada has recommended approval of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline through pristine First Nations territory, even though the project is opposed by Indigenous Peoples, the provincial government and environmental groups.