Triptych June 25, 2017, Billy Mills. Onondaga school walkout, National Aboriginal Day Canada

The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 25, 2017

Potentially devastating health care changes, a SkinWalker outrage, and summer this past week in Indian country, the Week That Was: June 25, 2017

Walk of Stars fame for a Native Olympian, a devastating health care bill, and a day of prayer for sacred places and world peace were the things shaking Indian country during the Week That Was, June 25, 2017.

HERE COMES THE SUN: Summer arrived at 12:24 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday June 21. For the rest of the country, though, the solstice occurred on June 20, since the hour depended on your time zone. It was a day of praying for the sacred and world peace, as Chief Arvol Looking Horse said in a statement commemorating the day. And in Canada, First Nations, Métis and Inuit celebrated National Aboriginal Day, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed National Indigenous Peoples Day, starting next year.

DARK HEALTH PLAN: After days of planning behind closed doors, a select group of Republicans gave the country a glimpse of the new health care plan—and it wasn’t pretty. It would destroy Medicaid, which would be devastating for Indian country. The Senate version of the repeal-and-replace bill was even more heartless than the House version passed in May.

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SCHOOL IS OVER: Onondaga Nation parents, infuriated at the LaFayette School District’s choice of a non-Native principal over a qualified tribal candidate, yanked their kids out of school two weeks early and requested a state review of the hiring process. The choice seemed to be based on a technicality that was easily remedied; the person selected declined the position.

STARRED OLYMPIAN: The great Billy Mills, Olympian extraordinaire, is among the honorees of this year’s Sacramento Walk of Stars. On September 28 a sidewalk star will be installed on L Street in Midtown Sacramento, in the Handle District.

SKINWALKER OUTRAGE: A social media outcry burst forth throughout Native communities, particularly the Navajo people, when Zak Bagans, the host and lead investigator for the reality series Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, broadcast a SkinWalker episode. Its last episode featured the Navajo Nation’s Ojo Amarillo Canyon, also known as Skinwalker Canyon, which stirred up anger in the Native community, even though Zak Bagans told ICMN he was greeted warmly by hundreds of Navajo people when he was there for the shooting of the episode.


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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 25, 2017