The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 10, 2013

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

• TOMAHAWK DOWN: An expansion team in the National Basketball League of Canada has already created a furor with the annoncement that the franchise would be called the Ottawa TomaHawks. An immediate backlash ensued over social media; commenters asserted the team moniker was offensive and racist towards aboriginal people. By the next day, club officials had announced they would drop the TomaHawks name.

• CRIMES AGAINST BIRDS: U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced March 6 in a U.S. Department of Justice news release that Ruben Dean Littlehead, 38, Lawrence, Kansas, and Brian K. Stoner, 32, Ponca City, Oklahoma, are charged with unlawfully selling feathers from eagles and hawks covered by a federal law protecting migratory birds. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in Douglas County, Kansas.

• VAWA REAUTHORIZED: On March 7, President Barack Obama signed into law the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act that includes tribal provisions. “Previously, tribes had no jurisdiction over non-tribal members, even if they are married to Native women or reside on native lands. But as soon as I sign this bill, that ends,” Obama said before the signing.

• FRIENDS ON THE BLOCK: On April 12, a collection of 71 Hopi and Zuni masks will be auctioned by Neret-Minet at the Druout Richelieu gallery and auction house in Paris, France. The array of katsinam masks was amassed by a collector over the course of 30 years, and date to the late 19th and early 20th century.

• TRIBE HONORED: The Colville Confederated Tribes’ successful effort to hold a British Columbia smelter accountable for dumping pollutants into the Columbia River for a century has caught the attention of the Sierra Club Washington State’s Upper Columbia River Group, which bestowed its 2013 Watershed Hero Award on the tribes.

• BEST EATS: The best dining option on the National Mall is Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian, according to a review of all dining options on Capitol Hill by Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times.

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