Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A couple of years ago a tribal leader showed me an abandoned lumber mill near the village of Tyonek, Alaska. The company promised jobs. And, for a time, for a couple of decades, there were those jobs. But after the resource was consumed, the mill closed, the company disappeared, and …

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Native American Republicans include two elected members of Congress; a dozen serving in seven state legislatures Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country cannot afford to close the door to Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures, especially those Native Americans who have been elected to office and serve as Republicans. There are two tribal citizens …

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Deborah Parker will be a witness to the president’s speech to Congress Tuesday night as the guest of Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore. A reminder about what’s at stake from Congressional gallery Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump is set to deliver a financial blow to Indian Country. His first budget will propose …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Last year I expected a record number of Native Americans to get elected to offices across the country. There were just so many really superb candidates running for Congress, state legislatures, and statewide offices. At one point my list topped a hundred candidates. Of course it didn’t turn out that way. …

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TrahantReports If Indian Country is going to make a difference in this election there are details that need to be completed first. Voter registration is easy. NativeVote.Org has an online set up here that is really easy to use. And the September 26 – 30 is Native Vote Action Week. (Look for hashtag, #NativeVote16 for events and social …

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    Mark Trahant / TrahantReports My ears perked up when I heard that Hillary Clinton was giving a speech on American Exceptionalism.  I cringe every time this is a topic; the idea is far too close to Manifest Destiny. “The United States is an exceptional nation. I believe we are still Lincoln’s last, best …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports My Facebook feed is rolling with new feeds from those headed to North Dakota to join those protecting the drinking water for the people of Standing Rock and Cheyenne River. Other folks are fundraising using a variety of social media tools. And, still other people are gathering food and supplies for …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports It’s easy to be optimistic about the prospects for American Indian and Alaska Native candidates in this election and beyond. Our numbers are growing, organizations are getting stronger, and, best of all, the most remarkable, talented people are giving elective office a shot. Then I hear that voice inside: “Ahh, yes, …

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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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  Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Could social media be a tool used to propel a successful candidacy? Of course not. At least that’s what people say. After all: Politics has always been done this way. But Alaska might be different and Edgar Blatchford is staking out an unconventional approach. He’s running for the United States Senate …

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