FROM THE ARCHIVE
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In The Hoop
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2001

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

Smallpox for Everyone!
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson says smallpox is on the way for every American man, woman, child and tribal leader.

Smallpox vaccine that is.

Thompson plans on signing a contract to buy the vaccine from a source / dealer / British general / foreign government The Washington Post does not name. But he has warned that it will cost upwards of $2 billion to do so.

That's a lot of money for something the medical community is alleged to have eradicated long after it destroyed countless tribal nations. But there is no word on whether Cheyenne River Sioux Chairman Gregg Bourland's request to have Native Americans be vaccinated first has been heeded.

In The Hoop will let you know.

Smallpox for Some!
Speaking of poxes (or is it poxii?), word around Blackie's is that officials and staff at the National Indian Gaming Commission have caught the "We're not as incompetent as you" disease.

Seems that certain NIGC folks have taken to ribbing their counterparts over at the Department of Interior over the trust fund. Ever since a federal judge blasted former Secretary Bruce Babbitt, current Secretary Gale Norton and the government's new defense team, the folks who are in charge of regulating gaming but instead seem to be more in the line of promoting it have taken added delight in their derision.

It's not that their scorn isn't undeserved, necessarily. It's that the trust fund takes the spotlight off their wheeling and dealing.

In The Hoop will keep you updated on additional diva-like actions.

Coming Soon
You've read about Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the trust fund lawsuit, in newspapers and magazines, heard her on the radio and even seen her on 60 Minutes. Will you soon be watching her on the silver screen?

Who knows for sure. But on yesterday's broadcast of Native America Calling, the Blackfeet banker was asked whom she'd like to portray her, should the story make it to a theater near you.

Her answer? Singer / actress / alleged Cherokee / gay icon / hair-flicker Cher.

"With all her magic she could probably play you as a child and an adult," host Harlan McKosato said of Cobell's choice, alluding slightly to certain "work" Cher has had performed.

But beyond making her choice (not to mention the apparent difference in height), Cobell didn't have time to offer a reason why she's got her babe in mind. "I just want to win this case and get people paid," said Cobell.

In Your Hoop
Have you asked your IHS clinic about smallpox? Email In the Hoop and let us know.

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