Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports HELENA, Montana — Just about a week ago it was clear that Cathy McMorris Rodger was headed to the Interior Department. Nope. It was a headfake. President-elect Donald Trump has instead picked Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the post. This is a  much better appointment for Indian Country. Zinke is …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports If, then, this. A series of three words explaining what happens in any new White House. If Donald Trump wins the presidency, then many (not all) of the promises made during the campaign become policy. And it happens starting next month when the Congress races to try and make this so. …

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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 On social media and in real life we hear this often: “What can I do to help Standing Rock?” Some answer the question by donating money, many send supplies, and hundreds of people jump in their car and travel to the camps near Cannonball, North Dakota. Once there folks pray, some …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports On Friday I tweeted: “What an extraordinary day, the federal government has a pulse.” The United States finally weighed in on what many of us believe is the most important issue in the country right now: The question of how this nation will address climate change. And pulse or not this remains …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports I’ve been thinking a lot about the silence from the White House on the situation at Standing Rock. There have been so many calls to get involved, including a direct plea from Chairman David Archambault II. So on Wednesday President Obama finally spoke; answering a question in Laos. He cited the …

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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 Henry Red Cloud added his name to those traveling to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to show support for for the people of Standing Rock and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Red Cloud is a candidate for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, an agency that among its duties, regulates pipelines. …

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  TrahantReports Arizona voters went to the polls Tuesday to narrow the number of candidates that will be on the November ballot. Turnout was light. According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office less than a quarter of eligible voters cast a ballot. In Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, Victoria Steele fell short in her bid …

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