Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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Biography:

Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant is an independent journalist and a faculty member at the University of North Dakota as the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism

Trahant reports and comments on events and trends on his blog at TrahantReports.Com and on FacebookTwitter (@TrahantReports) and other social media. He does a weekly audio commentary for Native Voice One that is broadcast via tribal radio stations across the country. And, every day for a decade, Trahant has written a 140-character rhyme based on a daily news story (@newsrimes4lines).

He’s been a reporter for PBS’ Frontline series. The Frontline piece, “The Silence,” was about sexual abuse by priests in an Alaska native village. He also has been editor-in-residence at the University of Idaho and a visiting professor at the University of Colorado.  In 2009 and 2010 Trahant was a Kaiser Media Fellow writing about health care reform focused on the Indian Health Service. He was recently the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Trahant is the former editor of the editorial page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where he chaired the daily editorial board, directed a staff of writers, editors and a cartoonist. He has also worked at The Seattle Times, The Arizona Republic, The Salt Lake Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Navajo Times, Navajo Nation Today and the Sho-Ban News. Trahant is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and former president of the Native American Journalists Association. Trahant is also president of the board of directors of Vision Maker Media, an important funding vehicle for Native films and media.

He has authored: The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars, Pictures of Our Nobler Selves, and Lewis & Clark through Indian Eyes (co-author). He is working on a book about the forces of disruption in Indian Country.

Radio:

Weekly commentary via Native Voice One

http://www.nv1.org/

Books:

Pictures of Our Nobler Selves

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Pictures of Our Nobler Selves

 

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The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars

The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars is a preposterous title:  How can that be? Well, there were two great battles in our era: The defeat of termination and the campaign for self-determination. First, a terrible, disastrous policy had to be rejected – and then it had to be replaced by a new progressive policy course for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is the context for this story about Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Forrest Gerard. Team Jackson and Gerard so changed the landscape of Indian Affairs that virtually every member of the body politic today agrees with the premise that American Indians and Alaska Natives have the right to govern themselves. This last great battle redefined the nature of Indian wars in America. Scoop’s legacy is already well known and etched in the nation’s memory. He was a champion of America’s international reputation and the legislative architect of many environmental policies. Gerard was the first American Indian to design, write, shepherd and do whatever was required to move American Indian legislation through Congress. The Indian Financing Act, the Indian Self-Determination Act, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, are all in the string of Jackson-Gerard legislative hits that remains unmatched in modern times.

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