Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Across Indian Country there are rallies, phone banks, forums, and social media pitches that are repeating one message, vote. Native American voters can make the difference in key states from the presidential race to county commissions. And what does it matter? In a paragraph: One presidential candidate, Donald Trump, favors …

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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 One week. Lots to report. Let’s start in Montana where Denise Juneau sought out Speaker Paul Ryan and asked to meet with him. Ryan was in Montana to campaign for Juneau’s opponent, Rep. Ryan Zinke. It was an unusual request, to say the least. And Ryan’s response was  a quick no, …

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