The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

It’s our roundup of all the big news coming out of Indian country; this week saw an unprecedented dialogue with the Republican candidate for President and observance of Columbus Day,the most controversial holiday in Indian country.

• THE MAN WHO WOULD BE PRESIDENT: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, answered questions from ICTMN about his vision for Indian country. “As president, I will be committed to providing tribes a seat at the table so that we can work together to get our economy back on track,” he said. “I value the tribes’ input, and my administration will work to foster a culture of collaboration and respect.”

• OTHERWISE KNOWN AS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: Columbus Day was observed Monday, October 8. The holiday has never been a popular one in Indian country — many see it as a celebration of conquest, oppression and even genocide. On Sunday, despite a light rain, Natives gathered in New York City’s Columbus Circle for an “Indigenous Day of Remembrance.” “We are here to remind the public that there is another story, another history,” said Luis Ramos, the event’s host. Here at ICTMN, we looked at ways to celebrate the original inhabitants of Turtle Island, the “War on Columbus Day,” and at some of the myths behind Columbus’ legacy. We also culled some interesting images from the internet, including sarcastic e-cards and more confrontational images of protest.

• NEVER FORGET: Susan Shown Harjo wrote about the need to preserve the Carlisle Indian School’s history: “That cemetery and the Guard House were considered worthy of preservation by the National Register of Historic Places. I agree, because they are history, but also because they are evidence. That small dark prison holds the blood and memory of those who could not or would not do what was demanded of them.”

• REQUIRED READING: Political correspondent Mark Trahant continued his in-depth and cogent coverage of election season 2012 with a pieces explaining why voting districts matter to Native Americans, detailing the history of voter exclusion, and offering analysis of the Vice-Presidential debate.


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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country