Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports We’re about a month away from this election season being over — and so there is a lot going on in the #NativeVote16 universe. (Previous: Make no mistake, Standing Rock is on the ballot.) Let’s start in North Dakota where three Native American candidates are on the ballot statewide, plus …

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  Climate math requires fossil fuel subtraction Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Ten months ago the United States told the world it was ready to do something about climate change. Enough talk. Time to act. And because of the nature of the crisis, the world’s governments are moving quickly. Well, at least as measured by governments. …

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Will Standing Rock stir younger Native voters? Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Will young people vote in 2016? And, more important, at least for our purposes, how about the younger generation of American Indians and Alaska Natives? Let’s explore the first question. Younger voters are perplexing. They are, or should be, the largest group voters, some 75 million. …

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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 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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    Mark Trahant / TrahantReports My ears perked up when I heard that Hillary Clinton was giving a speech on American Exceptionalism.  I cringe every time this is a topic; the idea is far too close to Manifest Destiny. “The United States is an exceptional nation. I believe we are still Lincoln’s last, best …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Henry Red Cloud added his name to those traveling to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to show support for for the people of Standing Rock and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Red Cloud is a candidate for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, an agency that among its duties, regulates pipelines. …

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