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In The Hoop
MAY 16, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Lighting Up
In The Hoop yesterday ran into a casual looking Kevin Gover in the halls of Foxwoods Resort Casino, the site of the midyear session of the National Congress of American Indians.

The former Assistant Secretary wasn't wearing his official Indianz.Com t-shirt, which he won in our very first contest. But that wasn't what In The Hoop was concerned about. It was the cigarette dangling from his mouth and countless others who were were huffing and puffing in between NCAI sessions.

We aren't one to deny people simple pleasures, but we did notice a lot of women smoking, too. Native women, if you don't remember, are the heaviest smokers in the nation and with health care one of the big issues in Indian Country, we hope that NCAI soon offers nicotine patches along with the cookies and coffee it serves at conferences.

Goodbye NCAI
Speaking of NCAI, the session saw a lot of high-profile drop outs.

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), vice chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, was scheduled to speak on Monday. But he canceled and sent his regrets, saying there were some Senate votes that he couldn't get out of.

Secretary of Interior Gale Norton also declined to show, which was unfortunate because we were hoping Lac Courte Oreilles Chairman Gaiashkibos would get up and ask her to approve his tribe's casino proposal over Governor Scott McCallum's veto. A man resembling the always-clad-in-black leader seemed surprisingly upbeat on Tuesday despite the negative decision.

Plenty of other people did show up. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael Anderson was there, laughing in response to someone's reference to the Boston Globe. Jackie Johnson, who may be the next executive director of NCAI, was there, too. Lynn Cutler, former White House liaison to tribes under President Clinton, was seen roaming about as well.

The Eastern Pequot Tribe threw a shindig on Monday night, giving attendees a presentation on tribal history and other issues. The tribe is one of several non-federally recognized ones who have been attending NCAI meetings as of late.

Speaking of...
Rumors of a certain Boston Globe reporter's untimely demise appear to have been grossly unfounded. After meeting with a couple of former Clinton appointees in Washington, DC, recently, the reporter seemingly dropped out of the spotlight, leading some to wonder just what the dynamic duo and their media handler did to stop this poor writer in his tracks.

But like a roach that never dies, the quiet belaboring bore fruit in the form of yet another article (front page no less) about the Mohegan Tribe and their deal with Trading Cove Associates. Thanks to the tireless work of the reporter to make sure Indian tribes don't get cheated out of their hard-earned money, Gover himself now says the tribe's billion dollar buyout skirted federal law.

If only Indian Country has more altruistic reporters of this type, the world might be a better place. The trust fund just might get fixed and treaties just might get upheld.

In The Hoop can only dream.

In Your Hoop
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Previous In The Hoops
May 11, 2001 | May 8, 2001 | May 7, 2001 | May 2, 2001 | May 1, 2001 | April 30, 2001 | April 25, 2001 | April 24, 2001 | April 23, 2001 | April 20, 2001 | April 19, 2001