January 07, 2008

Major stories of 2007

Commentary:  What a year!  2007 in Indian CountryThe firing of shock jock Don Imus was all everyone was talking about for awhile. But a Houston radio talk show host named Michael Berry, the city's mayor pro tem, for goodness sake, made little national fanfare for his comments about Indians.

Of course, the race for the White House was a major story. A group called INDN's list announced in January that they would host an event called "Prez on the Rez." It was supposed to be a debate between all Democratic nominees for president. Problem was the Big Three—Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards—soon let it be known they would not attend. (Our Gov. Bill Richardson was the first to accept, by the way). INDN's list fired away, especially at Hillary, for the Big Three being no-shows.

I thought the most contentious issue of the year was the fate of the Cherokee Freedmen. This is a group of descendants of former slaves who were voted out of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma earlier this year. After the vote, California Congresswoman Diane Watson, a member of the Black Caucus in the U.S. House, overstepped her powers and introduced a bill that would sever ties between the Cherokees and the U.S. if the Freedmen are permanently removed. The bill will not pass, in my opinion, but the Cherokees will eventually have to let the Freedmen back into the tribe.

Another story I thought was interesting in 2007 was the retiring of University of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek. I'd like to personally thank the NCAA that neither I, nor anybody else, will never have to watch one of his ridiculous pre-game or half-time routines ever again.

HBO's movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee might have picked up an incredible number of Emmy nominations, but most of the Indian people I've talked to found it repulsive in some way or another. I've yet to watch more than five minutes of it at any one sitting.
Comment:  I'd add the Hualapai Skywalk, the Makah Whale hunt, Nike's Air Native shoes, and Sherman Alexie's achievements to the list. Naturally, Newspaper Rock covered all these issues in-depth for you.

No comments: