Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Could there be a day, one day, without oil? Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration has been in office for less than a month — and already the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is again proceeding. Company officials say oil will be flowing by June. Yes, there is a flurry of …

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Jenni Monet faces criminal trespass and rioting charges Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Jenni Monet, a Native American journalist, was arrested last week while covering Standing Rock. You’d think that would trigger a lot of support from the national and regional news media.  There is an idea in law enforcement called the “thin blue line.” …

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Tribe says Corps does not have authority to stop environmental review   **Updated Feb. 8, 2017 Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Cognitive scientist George Lakoff once described the process for Republican thinking. It’s a set of assumptions built on the idea of a strict father. He wrote in his classic book, Don’t Think of an …

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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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By Charles C. Haynes / The Newseum Institute On Dec. 4, the two-year struggle by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their sacred land and water ended — at least for now — when the Obama administration denied the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. The cancelled route, located one half mile …

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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 This morning politics is crowded out by injustice. Every preposterous and painful image from North Dakota is another reminder of injustice: The massive police, military-style occupation of Standing Rock Treaty lands, the rush to protect the frantic construction schedule for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the brutal law enforcement march against …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A line of trucks and commercial vehicles on North Dakota’s Highway 6 Saturday was a speeding train. One vehicle after another. Traveling too fast and too close. Then, still on track, the entire train turned left and began racing down a rural dirt road. It was clear why: This …

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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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