It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT: In a historic settlement, four Pueblo tribes in New Mexico on March 14 had reason to celebrate following the finalization of New Mexico v. Aamodt and settling of water rights disputes that have been ongoing. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn joined New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez and leaders of the Tesuque, Nambe, Pojoaque and San Ildefonso pueblos at the Santa Fe Indian School to execute the settlement documents.
GROUP RIPS MOUNTIES: One of the world’s leading human rights organizations fired back at Canada’s national police force and the federal government for their response to the group’s report alleging gang-rape, sexual assaults and other abuses of Native women by those charged with protecting them. The long-standing controversy over police treatment of female aboriginal victims of violence has taken yet another turn with a new report by Human Rights Watch, which alleges widespread abuse of indigenous women in British Columbia by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
NEW WORLD RECORD: Cherokee Nation citizen and motivational speaker Brian Jackson added another world record to his already 15 records. This time it was all while performing on TruTV’s Guinness World Records Gone Wild a reality show airing Thursdays. Jackson blew up five hot water bottles in under a minute to set the new record.
HORN GOES TO SHOCK: Offensive tackle Levi Horn, Cheyenne, has joined the Spokane Shock Arena Football team. Horn (6-7, 315) joins the 2013 Shock roster for his AFL debut after spending time with the NFL’s Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings after his collegiate career at the University of Montana.
ARCHERS TRIUMPH: In its first participation in the United States Collegiate Archery Association (USCAA), the Navajo Technical College (NTC) archery team swept the award stand in the Basic Bow division in the Western Region of the U.S. Collegiate National Indoor Championships.
HABEMUS PAPUM: White smoke rose from the chimney in Vatican City Wednesday morning letting the world know a new Pope had been chosen. It's a new beginning — but will it be beneficial to American Indians? The day before the new pope was named, the Onondaga Nation called on the next Pope to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery, which evolved from a papal decree written by Pope Nicholas V in 1455. “Now is the time for the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church to extend a hand and talk about these issues,” said Tonya Gonella-Frichner.
PLAYING INDIAN: Actress Michelle Williams, who appears in the film Oz: The Great and Powerful, is featured in the Spring/Summer issue of AnOther Magazine dressed as an Indian — a styling choice that did not go over well in Indian country.