Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

TrahantReports The only two members of Congress who are Native American both survived their primary challenges Tuesday. Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a Chickasaw, easily defeated his Republican challenger winning  more than 71 percent of the votes cast. “I just want to thank the voters,” Cole told The Ada News. “It’s nice to know people support me, and …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports A couple of decades ago I had a chance to interview John Ehrlichman.  He had been recently released from prison for perjury and other Watergate-related crimes. We were talking about President Nixon’s American Indian and Alaska Native policies. He talked about some of the successes, some of the challenges, and then I asked …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports I have been fascinated by the candidacy of Carlyle Begay for Congress. It’s been quite the political drama: A young state senator who first earned his office with an appointment, wins election as a Democrat, then says he’s a Republican, then he gives up a shot at re-election to his office, …

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Good morning. A busy week ahead (but first I am stepping away from my political writing for a couple of days to fundraise for Trahant Reports and work on an overdue paying freelance gig. Trahant Reports posted a flurry of stories over the weekend, so there is plenty of material if you need to spend …

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  Just one example of innovation from the Native health system Mark Trahant / TrahantReports In the news business, this would be a man bites dog story. That’s the idea that a narrative framework is the opposite of what’s supposed to be. The usual story is that Indian health programs are a disaster and only getting …

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The Year of the Native American candidate Mark Trahant / TrahantReports It’s easy to dismiss this election. Every day there’s more news about something outrageous that was said by a presidential candidate. Grab the remote. Click. It’s gone and and ignore. But that’s only one way to think about the 2016 election. Flip the narrative …

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    Counting every vote (again) TrahantReports Every election there is new evidence that, yes, your vote does count. (This week, for example, there has been stories from voters who voted for the United Kingdom to leave Europe only because they thought their vote did not count. Whoops.) Now a race in  Blackfeet Country is being …

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I keep thinking: “This election is cool.” Then something happens. I get excited, and I am thinking, even more so, this election is cool. Today? This election is cool. Another statewide candidate, Henry Red Cloud in South Dakota. I’ll post a story Sunday morning. But for now … a chart.

  Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Joe Garry was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 1957. He was, of course, the first American Indian to serve in that body. A decade later he moved up to the state Senate and later ran for the U.S. Senate in 1960 and again in 1962. Also a …

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  Native American candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. If you’d rather … Spreadsheet is here.      

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