Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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Do you ever wonder who will be the first Native American president? That answer might already be found on the ballots across the country. Where more Native Americans than ever are running for office. Welcome to the Trahant Reports election special. I’m  Mark Trahant. You can find my blog at trahantreports.com or my work on …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Thirteen days and counting. And the election issue once again is the Affordable Care Act. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services details the rising costs for individual policies. So after two years of moderate premium increases (2% for 2015 and 7.5% for 2016) premiums are going up …

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    Mark Trahant / TrahantReports A question I am often asked: Are American Indians and Alaska Natives only Democrats? Of course not. There are Native Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, and Independents. Yet the data show that the vast majority of Native Americans vote for Democrats. And run for office as Democrats. Of the active candidates …

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  TrahantReports Results from Tuesday’s primary election in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Chilah Brown won her bid to represent the Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in this fall’s general election as a candidate for the state Senate. She defeated Bob Passons 657 to 462. Brown is a member of the Mille Lacs  Band of Ojibewe. She is challenging Republican Andrew Mathews …

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  TrahantReports Chase Iron Eyes told the Fargo Forum that he is letting his campaign consultants go and is trying to raise enough money to keep his campaign sustainable. “I was convinced that I needed an advisor, and these advisors brought other advisors who all cost a great deal of money,”he told the Forum. “I …

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  Mark Trahant / TrahantReports There is a hundred dollars-a-plate fundraiser planned on August 21 for Laurel Deegan-Fricke. She’s a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and running in a highly competitive seat in Raleigh, North Carolina. Two years ago that race was decided by less than a thousand votes out of some 82,000 cast. If …

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#NativeVote16 – A letter to the first Native American president

July 28, 2016


Minn. Rep. Peggy Flanagan. (Ojibwe) speaking ar the Democratic Convention. (C-SPAN)

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For those not near C-SPAN, Rep Peggy Flanagan (Ojibwe) speaking at DNC this afternoon. #NativeVote16 Video is here.

Short but eloquent. She read a letter to her future president daughter about the challenges and the promises found in politics & organizing.

“I am a proud citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe,” she said. “Politics is not always fun. Sometimes you run into some pretty mean people who don’t like you for simply being you. Like that naughty guy Donald Trump on TV. The one who says all those nasty things about women. And about Native Americans like us. I’m so sorry you have to hear that, my girl, your name is not Pocahontas. .. Despite everything that’s happened to our people, and no matter what Donald Trump said, we are still here.”

She said she wanted her daughter to grow up “our people’s values, honoring our elders, showing gratitude to our warriors, cherishing our children as gifts from the creator.”

That means having a president who shares those same values and “that’s why we have a Hillary sign on our front lawn. We can trust her to keep our women safe, our veterans well cared for, and keep the promises that the UNited States has made to our tribes.”

Flanagan told her daughter that Clinton, “like your mommy,” worked at the Children’s’ Defense Fund and then later ran for office. “And the bullies did not like that at all, but Hillary did not let them stop her. She never lets bullies stop her and neither should you.”

“You can’t run to be the first Native American president until you are 35,” Flanagan said. “But you can come knock on doors for Hillary with me this fall. I’ll be so so proud to bring you with me to vote for her on Nov. 8. And someday, I’ll vote for you.”

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