It’s our roundup of all the big news coming out of Indian country:
• BEWARE MOTHER NATURE: Hurricane Sandy hit Turtle Island with vengeance, flooding the island of Mannahatta (you know, New York City) and causing mass devastation in New Jersey. The Shinnecock Indian Nation, Mohegan Tribe of Indians and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation were also affected. In Florida, remains believed to belong to a Miccosukee Tribe burial ground were unearthed. For many who’d been frustrated by the lack of environmental debate between the Presidential candidates in the 2012 election, Sandy was a reminder of the consequences of global warming. At ICTMN.com, Winona LaDuke opined, “I am pro-life, in a much larger sense. I believe that life should include the Earth.”
• FRIGHT NIGHT: It was also Halloween week, and online protests against Indian-themed costumes took the form of a video called “I am not a costume” and a sequel to the “Culture, not a Costume” poster campaign of 2012. Still, not everyone gets it — singer Aubrey O’Day tweeted “I’m a lil Indian girl for the festivities tonight!”
• HOME STRETCH: It was also the final week before the 2012 Presidential election — a last chance to think about the issues and, for some of us, to make up our minds. Tex Hall offered his thoughts in “Why I’m Voting for President Obama,” while Mark Trahant, in one of the many dozen insightful posts he’s contributed on election ’12, looked at political attitudes in the former Indian Territory with “All Indians Are Democrats? Not in Oklahoma.” ICTMN also began its wrapup of the key races and issues across Indian country.
• INDIAN GAMING: Assassin’s Creed III, a game for the XBox 360 and Playstation III that is was one of the most anticipated releases of the year, hit stores, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The game is set during the American Revolutionary War, and players inhabit the character of a half-British, half-Mohawk assassin named Conor Kenway, born Ratonhnhaké:ton. A breakdown at slate.com described the game as “possibly the first mainstream look at Native American history that isn’t pandering or offensive.”
• DUBIOUS TASTE: Pop band No Doubt posted the video for its new single, “Looking Hot,” to YouTube and immediately drew fire from Natives outraged at its cowboys-and-Indians theme. That was Friday. Saturday afternoon, the band removed the video and posted an apology on its website. “We sincerely apologize to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video,” it read, in part. “Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are.”