The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 30, 2013

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

On June 23, actor Wes Studi, Cherokee, famous for his work in such films as The Last of the Mohicans and Avatar, was given the Distinguished Artist Award at the Tulsa Awards for Theater Excellence (TATE). 

If the Keystone XL pipeline increases the carbon content of the atmosphere, President Barack Obama will turn it down, he said on Tuesday June 25 in a speech on climate change.

Johnny Depp, who plays Tonto in the Disney film The Lone Ranger, attended a special premieres of the film at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and in Lawton, Oklahoma, capital of the Comanche Nation.

In a move that ensured the protracted continuance of the four-year custody battle over Veronica Brown, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed and remanded Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl back to the South Carolina courts for further review.

Leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation declared June 26 Leonard Peltier Day in honor of the American Indian Movement activist who has been in prison for 36 years, convicted of murdering two FBI agents in a trial that leading social justice organizations say was unfair and tainted by political influence.

Just days after the anniversary of the Battle of the Greasy Grass, also known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Minor League Baseball's Hagerstown, Maryland Suns announced it would be  giving away George Armstrong Custer bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans through the gates.

President Barack Obama on, June 26 released an executive order that establishes the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

According to a press release issued by genealogy website, Armie Hammer, the actor who plays the title role in Disney's upcoming western film The Lone Ranger, has Native American heritage.

Signaling the end of Civil Rights era reformation, the Supreme Court on June 25 ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that section four of the landmark Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.

A spiritual ceremony was held on Monday, June 24, at the Duluth Civic Center in Duluth, Minnesota to reinstall an eagle staff that had been removed and dumped into nearby bushes over the weekend.

A draft proposal of far-reaching revisions to the Interior Department’s process for federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes is being hailed as the best thing to happen in decades to a system that’s been described as “broken, long, expensive, burdensome, intrusive, unfair, arbitrary and capricious, less than transparent, unpredictable, and subject to undue political influence and manipulation.”

Following the Executive Order by President Barack Obama on June 26 establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs, Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus applauded the announcement with a joint statement.


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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 30, 2013