Here’s our weekly roundup of some of the big stories that came out of Indian country this past week:
-Rob Capriccioso’s piece “Tribal Lease Bill Clears Senate After Carcieri Wrangling” discussed the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act of 2011 on July 17 by unanimous consent. “The bill allows tribes to enter into certain surface leases without prior expressed approval of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.”
-Staying in Washington D.C., Capricciosos covered the decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and his staff to not show up to a meeting of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, titled “Authorization, standards and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government,” called by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska,
-Our continuing coverage of the Iroquois Nationals incredible run in the U19 World Lacrosse Championship, with coverage from our West Coast Editor Valerie Taliman who traveled to Turku, Finland to report on the team’s progress, was a source of joy throughout the week.
-Gale Courey Toensing covered the new wrinkle to the ongoing saga over the attempts in Indian country to protect the sacred San Francisco Peaks–the arrival of consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the scene.
–Shawn A-in-chut Atleo won a second term as AFN (Assembly First Nations) National Chief. Atleo won his second three-year term on July 18, promising to “put the stake in colonialism” and calling on all First Nations people to make their voices heard.
–Ashley Callingbull joined Greenpeace’s campaign against Shell’s planned Arctic Drilling. Callingbull, Enoch Cree, actress, model and recent competitor in the Miss World Canada pageant, joined an online effort by Greenpeace to call attention to the potential dangers of Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic.
–Hip hop star Lupe Fiasco visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Whiteclay. As Indian Country Today Media Network reported earlier, the lead single of Fiasco’s upcoming album Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, kicks off with a call-out to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, references Whiteclay, and contains several mentions of Natives as supporting evidence of the song’s title: “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free).”