The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 31, 2013

It's our weeklyroundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian Country:

SYMBOLIC SUPPORT FOR KXL: In an amendment to the budget bill—the first fiscal plan it has approved in four years—the U.S. Senate on Friday, March 22, voted 62–37 in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline project in a non-binding vote. “The 17 Democrats who voted yes included every single possibly vulnerable incumbent facing reelection next year, from 34-year veteran [Max] Baucus [Mont.] to first-term Sen. Mark Begich (Alaska),” The Washington Post noted.

LOHSE TO MILWAUKEE: The Milwaukee Brewers signed starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, Nomlaki Nation. Lohse, the last star on the free-agent market, agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with the Brewers that will make him the team's highest-paid pitcher.

HARD ROCK TULSA EXPANDS: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is now the largest gaming destination in northeast Oklahoma thanks to the addition of a new 10-story hotel tower. Cherokee Nation Entertainment wrapped up a year’s worth of gaming and hospitality expansion.

MONUMENTAL MOMENT: On March 25, President Obama established the San Juan Islands National Monument by proclamation. The Coast Salish peoples, for which the islands are traditional and hereditary lands, are celebrating Obama's move. Also by proclamation, President Obama established Río Grande del Norte, in New Mexico, as a National Monument.

TIM OUT: On March 26, news came that South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, would not be seeking re-election in 2014.

SCHIMMELS SURVIVE: Despite an off-shooting night by All Big-East point guard Schoni Schimmel (4-11), the fifth-seeded University of Louisville Cardinals rolled, knocking out the fourth-seeded Purdue Boilermakers 76-63. With the win, the Cards advance to the Sweet Sixteen round.

ALCOA SETTLEMENT: On March 27, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe learned it would be receiving approximately $8.4 million as part of a settlement agreement with Alcoa Inc. and Reynolds Metals Company for pollutants released into the St. Lawrence River environment causing damages to the tribe’s cultural area.

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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 31, 2013

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