It’s our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
DUBIOUS DISTINCTION: Two Indian country sites have made this year’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places: Embattled Oak Flat, in Arizona, and the Grand Canyon.
HOOKED: Swinomish Fish Company, owned by the Swinomish Tribe, is supplying Baker Lake spring chinook salmon to the largest independent grocery retailer in the Pacific Northwest. Haggen Food & Pharmacy has 164 stores in Washington and Oregon, as well as California, Arizona and Nevada.
COZY HOMES: Students at the Tulalip Tribes’ Construction Training Center were honored on June 15 for building two tiny houses to be donated to the Nickelsville Homeless Encampment in Seattle’s Central District. Thirteen students participated in the construction of the houses, which measure 8-feet by 12-feet and are wired for electricity and heat.
MONEY FOR HOPE: The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Pine Ridge School in South Dakota a $218,000 grant under the agency’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence program in response to a sharp increase in youth suicides. The school is a BIE-operated K-12 boarding school on the Pine Ridge Reservation that serves nearly 800 students from the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
LIAR, LIAR: Former Seneca Nation of Indians tribal council member Bergal Mitchell III admitted on June 22 to lying to FBI special agents investigating the purchase of 251-acres of farmland in Lewiston. Mitchell used the land purchase, which is the current location of the Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course to cover up his theft of $338,000.
WAIT AND SEE: Oglala Lakota president John Yellow Bird Steele told a group of New Age spiritualists who plan to gather in the Black Hills that as long as they respect the sacred site, including Lakota traditions, he does not have a problem with their scheduled event next month.
DREAMING BIG: The WNBA Atlanta Dream continued their Heritage series June 19-21 with games honoring Native American culture. Guard Shoni Schimmel, Umatilla, leads the team in assists and averages 7.8 points per game. Jude Schimmel, Shoni’s sister, received the Atlanta Dream Women of Inspiration Award.
CUTTING EDGE: Cinemersia, a production company specializing in cutting-edge virtual reality technology, has announced its second VR feature film: “Arapaho.” “Imagine Dances with Wolves, only you are out there, with them, not sitting in a theater,” says writer and director David Marlett.
NO ROAD FOR YOU: Canada’s government will not commit to building a road to an isolated Ontario First Nation that has suffered for 18 years without potable water despite being surrounded by Winnipeg’s own tap water.