It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
FOUR MORE YEARS: President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term, and during his speech he discussed an issue of concern to many Natives: climate change. The remarks were welcome after an election campaign marked by a lack of reference to the issue. At thr National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, Natives partied with live music and comedy at the Native Nations Inaugural Ball.
THANKS BUT NO THANKS: Citing the Crown’s refusal “to discuss the broken treaty relationship directly with First Nations representatives,” Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee turned down a nomination for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal that celebrates the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
SPENCE ENDS STRIKE: Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence announced she will end the liquid fast that she began on December 11 in protest of federal and Crown policies toward First Nations and other aboriginals. Before doing so, Chief Spence and her supporters crafted a Declaration of Commitment consisting of 13 points centering around adhering to treaty relationships, approaching negotiations from a nation-to-nation perspective and taking measures to improve the lives of First Nations people.
ANOTHER CHANCE AT VAWA: Native Americans are getting a jump-start on lobbying the new 113th Congress for passage of tribal provisions passed last year by the Senate but stalled in the House involving the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Already, Deborah Parker, vice-chair of the Tulalip Tribes, and others have visited several members of Congress, asking that they immediately pass bills including tribal jurisdictional provisions over non-Indians who commit crimes on tribal lands.
DESIGNING WOMAN: Native designer Patricia Michaels excelled in her appearance on the season premiere of Project Runway. Friends and fashionistas attended a watch party at a gallery in Santa Fe.