Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

MARK TRAHANT What will Alaska look like in 10,000 years? Who will be here? What will they do? And, most important, what will be preserved from the past kilennium? These are not easy questions. Even thinking about the next decade, let alone thousands of years, is interrupted by every crisis that requires attention. There is …

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MARK TRAHANT The House Budget Committee unveiled its budget Tuesday — and the details are not good news for Indian Country. First: The budget calls for more spending cuts than any previous Republican budget, some $5.5 trillion over the next decade. The pay off would be a balanced budget. But most of those cuts fall into …

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MARK TRAHANT The battle over federal spending is about to get ugly. Real ugly. It’s been a Republican promise to balance the federal budget within a decade. And in an election campaign that promise look soooo easy. Cut a penny here, another there, and somehow, magically, revenues match spending and there’s a balanced budget.  Since …

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A new coalition? A group of Republicans working with Democrats could be good news for Indian Country in this Congress. (Photo from Speaker’s web page.) MARK TRAHANT When I was a young reporter the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho went through a crisis. Four delegates of the seven-member council were recalled; that meant that the governing …

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I was an early adopter of iWeb. It was easy to use and I could design my pages and posts with ease. But Mac decided sometime ago to no longer support the software. So I knew I had to come up with a new plan. I have been experimenting with several tools but finally decided …

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I have been writing for years about the success — well, at least mostly — of Native American voters. During recent presidential election cycles the turnout from Indian Country is inspiring, helping to swing elections from Arizona to North Dakota. And just last year Alaska Native voters helped dump a hostile state governor and replaced …

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February 19, 2015 Do Alaska Native tribes posses sovereignty? A simple question. And, in Indian Country, the answer is usually a quick “yes.” Of course. But in Alaska just asking this question is an act of defiance. The state and many of its citizens have assumed, planned, and operated on the premise that tribal powers …

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February 12, 2015 Congress has recognized the importance and the value of tribal colleges. A Senate resolution sets Feb. 8 as the “National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week.” There are 32 fully accredited tribal colleges and universities on some 75 campuses across the country, reaching thousands of students, delivering higher education for a fraction of …

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February 5, 2015 The House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on February 3. Then, this is not new. The House has voted nearly sixty times to either revoke the law or to make huge changes. But this time the House and the Senate are in Republican hands. So that means what …

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January 27, 2015 This is the Climate Moment. A possible turning point. Consider the massive storm that resulted in a state of emergency throughout much of New England with temperatures in the teens, gusty winds, and snow measured by the foot not the inch. We know from the science that climate change will make storms …

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