Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports First: A fantasy. Wouldn’t it be cool if once, just once, there was a debate in Congress that could only be decided by a vote that benefits Native people? I don’t know. Something like, “I won’t vote for any bill unless it fulfills the treaty obligations that the United …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate is now going through 20 hours of debate on a House Resolution 1628 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But the House bill was stripped of every word except the title. Now the idea is to come up with the right language to reach 50 votes …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A Senate hearing Wednesday on Indian health illustrates the larger problem exactly: How can you strip millions of dollars from a health care system and get better results? The answer is you cannot. But that’s not what the Trump administration testified. And it’s not what the Senate leadership is saying …

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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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  Could there be a day, one day, without oil? Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration has been in office for less than a month — and already the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is again proceeding. Company officials say oil will be flowing by June. Yes, there is a flurry of …

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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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Tribe says Corps does not have authority to stop environmental review   **Updated Feb. 8, 2017 Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Cognitive scientist George Lakoff once described the process for Republican thinking. It’s a set of assumptions built on the idea of a strict father. He wrote in his classic book, Don’t Think of an …

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  America First? How about First American First? Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports How does Indian Country survive the Donald Trump era? The new administration is only a few days old and already the chaos of the times have upset business as usual. And possibly the very structure of federal-Indian law. And it’s not just …

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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 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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