Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

** Updated, Oct. 30. ** Omnibus is a Latin word that means “for all.” In legislation it means cramming everything into a bill that you think can pass. That’s exactly what the House did with its two-year $80 billion spending bill. That bill lifts caps from the Budget Control Act, or the sequester, and it …

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President’s visit to Alaska is remarkable on so many levels. But what story do we tell? Mark Trahant President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska was inspiring. I eagerly watched everything I could see online: The official restoration of the name Denali, his powerful words on the climate, his visits to Resurrection Bay, and his interaction with …

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Culturally significant land represents rebuilding of a tribal land base MARK TRAHANT TYONEK, Alaska — This is a great day for Al Goozmer. So the tribal president wants to show us everything in this village of about 200 people. We start at the airstrip where there’s a new fire station. A mural painted in vivid …

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The next phase in the epidemic: Reducing the rate of growth and other success stories MARK TRAHANT Indian Country has long faced the epidemic of diabetes with rates 2.3 times greater than the general population. The toll from this deadly disease was so great that a federal Special Diabetes Program for Indians was launched some …

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Montanans love to talk about how special our state is. For those from some place other than Montana, you may think that we mean our beautiful mountains, the vast golden prairies, and incredible blue sky that never seems to end. And you would be right – we do mean that. But what really makes Montana …

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Millions of Montanans, Alaskans and Native Americans wait for health insurance MARK TRAHANT The best case for Medicaid expansion in Alaska is being delivered by Valerie Davidson. She’s the recently appointed Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services and a longtime advocate for improving Native health, most recently the senior director of Legal …

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Fight for Indian health funding is at critical juncture MARK TRAHANT One of Indian Country’s most important debates about increasing funding for the Indian health system is occurring far from Congress in state legislatures across the country. And that is unfamiliar ground to discussions about Indian health and treaty obligations. The Affordable Care Act — …

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