Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

** 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 is an important constituency. Four years ago much of the registration and organizing efforts at Fort Belknap was accomplished by students. I am really interested in exploring how this generation thinks about voting & activism.

My goal is to post something early in the week (before voter registration deadlines).

I am also planning a piece on voter registration efforts in states where that idea is difficult. (Shout out to Nathan Whistler about what’s going on in Nevada with disenfranchisement attempts.)

I continue to track the candidates on the #NativeVote16 list and will post a few updates soon.  Even now I hear from people who I have missed. Last week I added Phil Bellfy, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, who’s running for the House in Northern Michigan.

I also heard from Tim Sumner, who is running for his second term as a Beltrami County Commissioner.  My plan is to add Native officers holders and candidates in city, county, and other offices, to my database going forward. But that won’t happen until this election is over.

More memes next week — I am still posting candidates from Minnesota. Ballots are now available there. I still need to produce memes for  Montana, South Dakota, Washington, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Oklahoma. As I type these words I am thinking I should start posting two a day in order to get through all of the candidates on my list before Election Day.

I am also traveling — and will miss the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I’ll be on a plane so I will have to read & watch after the fact. 


Trahant speaking schedule:

I am in Jackson  Lake Lodge, Wyoming, on Monday speaking to the Environmental Grantmakers Association.

October. 3, Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School, “Blogging the Election, Native Americans are changing the political landscape.” Phoenix.

October 10, International Conference on Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Mueums, Phoenix.

More election talk. October 18, University of Minnesota-Duluth, speaking at 6:30 pm as part of a Native Media Summit.

Trahant Reports on radio:

We are continuing to make improvements for my weekly commentary on Native Voice One. The latest plan is one-hour radio special about the election. We are hoping this would be produced mid-October. Audio will be available via social media as well as a free program for radio stations, especially tribal radio stations.

I want to especially thank Kauffman & Associations, Inc., for sponsoring the Native Voice One commentary.  As I say every week: “Trahant Reports is brought to you by Kauffman & Associates, Inc., a Native American owned, woman-owned small business that has delivered innovative .solutions for government and commercial clients since 1990. KAI’s expertise spans diverse specialty areas, including public health, education, and economic development.” Thank you.

That’s what’s on my list. Back to work. — Mark

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