Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

TrahantReports This is President Barack Obama’s last White House Tribal Nations Conference.  These meetings have really raised the level of discourse between tribal governments and the federal government. It seems to me this is how government-to-government should have worked all along. That said: It will be impossible for the White House to be successful unless …

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** Saturday update ** I am working on piece about Indian Country’s youth vote. I am especially interested in looking at what would 90/100% turnout look like at tribal colleges. Across the country there are about 30,000 tribal college students. I’ll start a spreadsheet and try to break that down by state. I know this …

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TrahantReports If Indian Country is going to make a difference in this election there are details that need to be completed first. Voter registration is easy. NativeVote.Org has an online set up here that is really easy to use. And the September 26 – 30 is Native Vote Action Week. (Look for hashtag, #NativeVote16 for events and social …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports It’s time. It’s time for politicians to treat American Indians and Alaska Natives as an important constituency, not an outside group living in our own homeland. The words of North Dakota’s representative in Congress, Kevin Cramer, capture the old thinking perfectly. He told Oil and Gas 360 that the Dakota Access Pipeline …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports It always amazes how different people can look at the same set of facts, an event, or even a conversation and walk away with completely different impressions. Then in four decades of reporting I have never seen a story with as wide a gulf over what is occurring at Standing Rock. The government …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports On social media and in real life we hear this often: “What can I do to help Standing Rock?” Some answer the question by donating money, many send supplies, and hundreds of people jump in their car and travel to the camps near Cannonball, North Dakota. Once there folks pray, some …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports On Friday I tweeted: “What an extraordinary day, the federal government has a pulse.” The United States finally weighed in on what many of us believe is the most important issue in the country right now: The question of how this nation will address climate change. And pulse or not this remains …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports I’ve been thinking a lot about the silence from the White House on the situation at Standing Rock. There have been so many calls to get involved, including a direct plea from Chairman David Archambault II. So on Wednesday President Obama finally spoke; answering a question in Laos. He cited the …

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