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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A president unlike any since, well, Andrew Jackson Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A terrible year? Elias Boudinot considered 1832 as such. The year started with the Cherokee Nation winning its case in the U.S. Supreme Court, only to be followed by a message of “so what?” from President Andrew Jackson. Boudinot’s home was slated for …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is that moment when we take the plastic protection off a new phone screen. Everything was perfect until we peel it away. Then fingerprints, scratches, and the business of life take hold. That new thing is never the same. That’s exactly where Doug Burgum was as the new governor …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports If, then, this. A series of three words explaining what happens in any new White House. If Donald Trump wins the presidency, then many (not all) of the promises made during the campaign become policy. And it happens starting next month when the Congress races to try and make this so. …

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By Charles C. Haynes / The Newseum Institute On Dec. 4, the two-year struggle by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their sacred land and water ended — at least for now — when the Obama administration denied the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. The cancelled route, located one half mile …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has defied history. Nearly two years ago the Dakota Access Pipeline and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the tribe about an inevitable pipeline that would cross near their reservation and within treaty lands. The tribe objected. But it was inevitable. A done …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The period between an election and a new presidential administration is nothing short of frantic. There is just not enough time to fill all the positions that open up on Jan. 20, 2017, some 8,000 posts that are political in nature. About 1,200 of those jobs require Senate confirmation. President-elect …

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  Price plan calls for Indian Health savings accounts Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President-elect Donald Trump and Congress are moving quickly to reshape health care, including the Indian Health system. And so far the path looks to be chaotic. First, the who: The Trump administration will be led on health care issues by Tom …

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Four words that still matter Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Rule of Law. Four words that are cited over and over as the reason why the water protectors at Standing Rock should back away from their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The reasoning goes: The Rule of Law makes it ok to …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A few years ago I had a chance to ask President George Bush what he thought about tribal sovereignty in the 21st century. His answer went viral: “Tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a … you’re a … you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign …

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