Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

It’s impossible to defy gravity #NativePolicy Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Federal Indian programs have been added to the “high-risk” category by the Government Accountability Office. That designation could not come at a worse time. The details. This is how the GAO defines its high risk identification: “The federal government is one of the world’s largest …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Timing is everything in politics — so Minnesota Rep. Peggy Flanagan is wasting no time in her bid for Congress. This week she launched a new web page and her social media links. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe and she would be the first Native American …

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Jenni Monet faces criminal trespass and rioting charges Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Jenni Monet, a Native American journalist, was arrested last week while covering Standing Rock. You’d think that would trigger a lot of support from the national and regional news media.  There is an idea in law enforcement called the “thin blue line.” …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Kinda, sorta. Because it’s actually way more complicated than a straight repeal of the law. The House and Senate passed budget resolutions that instruct four committees in Congress to strip funding from the budget. This is important because it means that …

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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 HELENA, Montana — It’s easy to think about politics as being about elections. We concentrate so much of our attention, our money, and our energy on campaigns. But then what? Most politicians run because they want to change things. They want government to be effective, to use the machinery of state …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports HELENA, Montana — Just about a week ago it was clear that Cathy McMorris Rodger was headed to the Interior Department. Nope. It was a headfake. President-elect Donald Trump has instead picked Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the post. This is a  much better appointment for Indian Country. Zinke is …

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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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