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August 05, 2011

Indian Country in the News: Aug. 1 - 5, 2011

This week's news highlights include the legalization of same-sex marriage by the Suquamish Tribal Council in Washington, a new study suggesting American Indian tribes are disproportionately affected by climate change, the battle over Jim Thorpe's burial, and accusations that a British TV show about Amazonian tribes has been staging scenes:

  • WSJ: Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Washington (at least some parts) - "The Suquamish Tribal Council in Washington has formally changed its ordinances to allow same-sex couples to marry. The change grants gay and lesbian couples all the rights afforded to heterosexual couples on the reservation, according to this report in the Kitsap Sun. Is this the first Native American tribe to grant same-sex marriage rights? No, that would be the Coquille Indian Tribe in Coos Bay, Ore in 2009, the Sun reports."
  • NYTimes: Climate Change an Extra Burden for Native Americans, Study Says - "Because tribal lands are particularly prone to drought, flooding, wildfires and other weather extremes, American Indian tribes suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change, a new study from the National Wildlife Federation and other groups reported Wednesday. American Indians and Alaska natives are more dependent than most other Americans on natural resources and on the bounty of oceans and rivers and thus are particularly at risk from the effects of a warming planet ...  Because many Native Americans live on reservations, they do not have the freedom to move in response to extreme climatic events and are forced to adapt, often with very limited resources."
  • NPR: A Fight For Jim Thorpe's Body - "More than half a century after the death of sports star Jim Thorpe, his surviving children and a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania are locked in a battle over the Native American athlete's remains. The two-time Olympic gold medalist, member of the NFL Hall of Fame and former major league baseball player was buried in the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., after he died of a heart attack in 1953. Now, Thorpe's surviving children and his tribe, the Sac and Fox Nation, are suing the town to bring his body back to his home state of Oklahoma. But town officials want his remains to stay put."
  • The Guardian: TV series about Amazonian tribe accused of faking scenes - "A series about an Amazonian tribe that aired on the BBC has been accused of "faking" scenes and mistranslating interviews to negatively portray the tribe as "sex-obsessed, mean savages", according to accusations made by two eminent experts. The show, called Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga, was shown on BBC Knowledge in South Africa in June and July last year and by the Travel Channel in the US in 2009, and made by Paddington-based Cicada Productions."

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