Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Agency Says Indian Health Should Not Be Exempt From Medicaid Work Rules Because They Are ‘Race-Based’ Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration is supporting a major policy shift on Indian health programs which could result in a loss of millions of dollars and sabotage treaty rights. A story in Politico Sunday raised the …

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Paulette Jordan is one of seven Native American candidates running for statewide office — and one of two Native women running to a lead a state Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today A couple of weeks ago I was driving across the border into Idaho from Montana. I stopped the car and took a picture …

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Trahant Reports U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and his running mate Peggy Flanagan passed their first test in Minnesota, easily winning a straw poll of voters at the state’s party caucuses. Walz-Flanagan won nearly a third of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ballots. State Auditor Rebecca Otto was in second place with 20 percent, followed by state Rep. Erin Murphy …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Paulette Jordan is running for governor of Idaho. This is a big deal in so many ways. First, there have been very few Native Americans who have ever run at that level (Alaska’s Byron Mallott, Idaho’s Larry EchoHawk, and Peggy Flanagan in Minnesota).  Second, she’s the first Native woman who …

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The year was 1977. I was editor of the Sho-Ban News and Idaho’s Gov. Cecil Andrus had recently been named by President Jimmy Carter as Secretary of the Interior. If I remember right, this interview took place in his Boise office. Andrus was a politician who gave clear answers and was a great storyteller. I remember our …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Former Montana State Sen. Carol Juneau once said that she considered state office because that’s where she could make a difference. (She is a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tribe but was living in the Blackfeet Nation). The year was 1998. She was first appointed to the legislature to …

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***Updated*** Good morning. A quick update. So a reader points out that I really ought to include Debora Juarez in this list (and in the broader review of Native women in office). And it’s a spot on suggestion. So I have added Juarez and a couple of county commissioners I know about … but there …

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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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What does a landslide look like? And, more important, what would that mean for Native American candidates? First: Hillary Clinton is peaking at the ideal moment. And, at the same time, Donald Trump’s campaign is imploding. He had a bad week, a poor debate, and he’s out of time to …

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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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