Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Pakootas: “Winning requires a big effort” Mark Trahant / TrahantReports August begins with eight Native American candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. But that number is likely to shrink when the month comes to a close. Three candidates are on the ballot: Democrats Joe Pakootas (Colville) in Washington’s 5th Congressional District, Victoria Steele (Seneca) in …

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  Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president sent a message that traveled far beyond the convention hall in Philadelphia. It was  a story told in hundreds of tweets from mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, and those who make up a larger American family. So …

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#NativeVote16 – A letter to the first Native American president

July 28, 2016


Minn. Rep. Peggy Flanagan. (Ojibwe) speaking ar the Democratic Convention. (C-SPAN)

TrahantReports

For those not near C-SPAN, Rep Peggy Flanagan (Ojibwe) speaking at DNC this afternoon. #NativeVote16 Video is here.

Short but eloquent. She read a letter to her future president daughter about the challenges and the promises found in politics & organizing.

“I am a proud citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe,” she said. “Politics is not always fun. Sometimes you run into some pretty mean people who don’t like you for simply being you. Like that naughty guy Donald Trump on TV. The one who says all those nasty things about women. And about Native Americans like us. I’m so sorry you have to hear that, my girl, your name is not Pocahontas. .. Despite everything that’s happened to our people, and no matter what Donald Trump said, we are still here.”

She said she wanted her daughter to grow up “our people’s values, honoring our elders, showing gratitude to our warriors, cherishing our children as gifts from the creator.”

That means having a president who shares those same values and “that’s why we have a Hillary sign on our front lawn. We can trust her to keep our women safe, our veterans well cared for, and keep the promises that the UNited States has made to our tribes.”

Flanagan told her daughter that Clinton, “like your mommy,” worked at the Children’s’ Defense Fund and then later ran for office. “And the bullies did not like that at all, but Hillary did not let them stop her. She never lets bullies stop her and neither should you.”

“You can’t run to be the first Native American president until you are 35,” Flanagan said. “But you can come knock on doors for Hillary with me this fall. I’ll be so so proud to bring you with me to vote for her on Nov. 8. And someday, I’ll vote for you.”

Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Vermont casts 22 votes for its senator, Bernie Sanders. A minute later, Sanders asks the rules be suspended and that Hillary Clinton be nominated by acclamation. And so the Bernie Sanders’ chapter comes to an end. The question is, “what’s next?” Let’s explore this from a couple of different points of view. …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Donald J. Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president Thursday. “Here, at our convention, there will be no lies,” he said. “We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.” And one of those truths: An extrordinary promise to break treaties. That’s the haunting metaphor from Trump’s …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Three explosive words: Vote your conscience. And in one phrase Ted Cruz ended any pretense of Republican Party unity. He gave permission to his supporters to vote for someone other than GOP nominee Donald J. Trump. “Don’t stay home in November,” he said. “Stand and speak and vote your conscience. Cruz …

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