Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Good morning. I am working on a piece about Native American women who were elected to office at the state (or, I wish, at the federal) level. This is my spreadsheet. Please take a look and let me know if anyone is missing. I have identified 62 American Indian or Alaska Natives in state legislatures …

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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember the sequester? Ah, the good old days. The new Trump Administration budget is short on details, but clear on direction. And we do know two things. First: If enacted, this budget would shrink the federal government to a much smaller size. Except for the military and the Veterans Administration. …

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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 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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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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  Rethinking tribal policy at the state level Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Elections are about ideas. What should our world look like? How do tribal nations, Alaska Native corporations, and communities fit into the American experience? Elections are about tactics. Who runs? Are there resources? (And, when I say resources, I really mean, cash …

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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 There is no question in my mind that gender is on the ballot this election. Hillary Clinton would be the first woman ever elected in U.S. history. While the Republican nominee for president finds new ways to show his contempt for women almost every time he opens his mouth. And …

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