Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Last year I expected a record number of Native Americans to get elected to offices across the country. There were just so many really superb candidates running for Congress, state legislatures, and statewide offices. At one point my list topped a hundred candidates. Of course it didn’t turn out that way. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Sometimes the stars do align. The short version: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is campaigning to chair the Democratic National Committee. If he wins, that opens up a congressional seat in a special election. And, state Rep. Peggy Flanagan is thinking about running. Now, the details.  Ellison represents Minneapolis and some …

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  Rethinking tribal policy at the state level Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Elections are about ideas. What should our world look like? How do tribal nations, Alaska Native corporations, and communities fit into the American experience? Elections are about tactics. Who runs? Are there resources? (And, when I say resources, I really mean, cash …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is no question in my mind that gender is on the ballot this election. Hillary Clinton would be the first woman ever elected in U.S. history. While the Republican nominee for president finds new ways to show his contempt for women almost every time he opens his mouth. And …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A little more than a year ago I was teaching a class and was showing students how to build a map. I blogged about it: “What kind of map? Well, it would be cool to show where every American Indian or Alaska Native is running for office. At the federal level, …

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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 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 / TrahantReports Vermont casts 22 votes for its senator, Bernie Sanders. A minute later, Sanders asks the rules be suspended and that Hillary Clinton be nominated by acclamation. And so the Bernie Sanders’ chapter comes to an end. The question is, “what’s next?” Let’s explore this from a couple of different points of view. …

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WINNING INDIAN COUNTRY An irreverent guide to the 2016 elections Theme: Democracy is so worth a try   One: Ten reasons why every American Indian and Alaska Native should vote Why vote? It takes planning, some time, and the rewards are not always visible. The same problems will surround American Indians and Alaska Natives before …

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Note: Following are two news releases regarding issues that jeopardize tribal culture, safety and rights: For Immediate Release Photos available on request   Testifying on H.R. 2719 Quinault Nation President Asks Congress to Support Tribal Management of Coastal Zones to Ensure Public Safety and Protect Cultural Resources   Washington DC (11/4/15)—Destructive weather conditions including persistent …

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