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In The Hoop
JUNE 27, 2001

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

Leonard Who?
Remember last year? There was such a flurry around the 25th anniversary of the shootout at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota that FBI Director Louis J. Freeh put out a statement forever damning imprisoned American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier for the deaths of the agents that fateful June 26, 1975 day.

This year, there was hardly a peep 'heard round the world to mark the occasion.

So what changed? Well, first Freeh is gone from the FBI. For many, that's good news. Lucky for him, too, as he is leaving behind internal and Congressional probes of the troubled agency's many botched jobs.

Second, Peltier is still in jail and there's a Republican in the White House. For many, this is bad news.

Oh and then there's the whole fascination with celebrating good-numbered anniversaries like 25, 50 and 100. (Except for the BIA, who seems intent on stretching out its 175th as long as humanly possible. Just ask Deputy Commissioner Sharon Blackwell.)

But perhaps most importantly, Peltier lost out to yet another historic event: the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn. Media after media account documented the battle, the commemorations and some of accomplishments of the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors who defeated the Army while protecting their land and way of life.

For everybody, this is good news. But as Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) pointed out, there's still lots more to be done. The Indian memorial still hasn't been funded (Campbell promises it will be) and the legacy of broken promises still lives on.

But America has a short-term memory. What was news this year might not be so hot the next. At least we still have Lewis & Clark to look forward to!

Job Hunting
Word on the street is that the managing editor of a major Indian print publication is itching to leave his job to work for none other than yours truly, Indianz.Com. According to an official from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, whose development company owns Indianz.Com, the editor asked him for a job.

In The Hoop isn't aware of any offers but we'll keep you posted.

Job Hunting, Part II
Speaking of jobs, some employees at the National Indian Gaming Commission might want to be looking for them. A source within the agency told In The Hoop that the Republican-led House Resources Committee is wondering why the NIGC is running low on funds.

In The Hoop has an answer: Perhaps the agency is doing its job? But with Congress, nothing is ever that simple and as part of the probe, the committee has obtained the travel expenses of all of NIGC's commissioners, looking for a way to explain the dwindling bank account.

So will this mean the NIGC will get more money? Again, nothing is that easy. The agency's proposed fiscal year 2002 budget is about $7.9 million, an increase of $100,000 from 2001.

In case you haven't heard, two guitars belonging to Yankton Sioux blues-rock group Indigenous were stolen at a recent concert appearance in Kansas. According to the band, the two Fender Strats were taken right off the stage in Lawrence.

In The Hoop wants to put McGruff on this job so guitarist Mato Nanji can get back to making music. Anyone who has information on the missing guitars is urged to contact the band's management (email:; phone: 651.436-2819) or the Lawrence Police Department at 785.832.7559. Mention case #02-01-3675.

In Your Hoop
Who were your winners and losers? Email us and let us know. You might be published here! Email In the Hoop.

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