December 19, 2011

Top Native stories of 2011

Indian Country Today Media Network’s Top 10 Stories of 2011Bin Laden Code-name ‘Geronimo’ Is a Bomb in Indian Country

As news of Osama bin Laden’s death spread relief across America and the world, revelations that the assigned code name of Enemy Number One was “Geronimo,” a legendary Apache leader, caused shock waves in Indian communities across the country. It is being interpreted as a slap in the face of Native people, a disturbing message that equates an iconic symbol of Native American pride with the most hated evildoer since Adolf Hitler.

Christian Crees Tear Down Sweat Lodge

When Redfern Mianscum built a sweat lodge in his Cree community last October, he was hoping it would bring about spiritual healing. Instead, it brought criticism and a controversial ban on Native spirituality and sweat lodges.

An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters on Columbus Day

ICTMN received a letter in October from a concerned member of the Santee Sioux nation that was addressed to the CEO of Urban Outfitters in regards to concerns of the store’s Native themed clothing and accessories.

ABC Airs Documentary About Pine Ridge

On Friday, October 14th, the ABC television network aired “Hidden America: Children of the Plains,” an episode of 20/20 hosted by Diane Sawyer that highlighted the lives of Native youth living on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The stars of the program were its young subjects.
Comment:  Glad to see I participated in or reported on several of these stories. And I mentioned a few others.

But I can't take the list too seriously when it includes a basketball player and an asteroid that missed the earth. Here are some of the stories that aren't on the list but should be:

  • Probes into the violence against Native women
  • The Keystone XL pipeline protests
  • The Attawapiskat housing crisis
  • James Ray's conviction in the sweat-lodge deaths
  • The retirement of the Fighting Sioux mascot
  • Bryan Fischer's racist columns
  • The release of the 2010 Census data
  • Criticism of the Native prayer at the Gabrielle Giffords ceremony

  • Heck, Jared Loughner's shooting of Giffords happened in January 2011. Whether it's the Native or mainstream media, that and Osama bin Laden's death should be right up there as stories of the year.

    For more on Native journalism, see "White Journalists" on Native America Calling and Native News Network.

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