Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Native American representation in Congress was 0.37 percent before the election and today it’s the same, Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Markwayne Mullin were easily re-elected to the House. But Denise Juneau, Joe Pakotas and Chase Iron Eyes were all defeated by wide margins in Montana, Washington and North Dakota. …

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Trahant Reports 15. I’ll have a full report in a day or two. But the headline is that the Native candidates were running against a tide. Most of the support for Trump surfaced in rural areas, often the same districts as Native candidates.   That’s certainly what happened in the three House races in Washington, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Across Indian Country there are rallies, phone banks, forums, and social media pitches that are repeating one message, vote. Native American voters can make the difference in key states from the presidential race to county commissions. And what does it matter? In a paragraph: One presidential candidate, Donald Trump, favors …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It’s an understatement to say that North Dakota is making history. The rush to build a new oil pipeline from the Bakken oil fields to Patoka, Illinois, was supposed to be routine. It was designed to avoid most regulation, especially federal oversight, and get built without fanfare. But when that …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A line of trucks and commercial vehicles on North Dakota’s Highway 6 Saturday was a speeding train. One vehicle after another. Traveling too fast and too close. Then, still on track, the entire train turned left and began racing down a rural dirt road. It was clear why: This …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Early in the election cycle I made a prediction: I said if Donald Trump was the Republican nominee, the House would be in play for the Democrats. The reaction (and more than once) was 30 seats? Not likely. (Previous: Native candidates could help flip Congress). Not likely are the words …

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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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