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Parties in lawsuit involving alleged ICWA violations in South Dakota meet to discuss remedies
Standing Rock tribal leader says tribe will do what it can to ensure peace at pipeline protest
Indigenous advocacy and student groups call on University of New Mexico officials to abolish seal
Cheyenne River Youth Project to help young people learn job skills through two-year workforce initiative
Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is crowned 2016 Miss Indian World
A wealth of Native politicians in North Dakota.
This is Trahant Reports.
Over the years several Native American candidates have run and won statewide office. This year that’s happening again … times three.
Byron Mallott is Lt. Gov. in Alaska. Denise Juneau is Montana’s superintendent of public instruction. And Larry EchoHawk was the attorney general of Idaho.
That context is important because it’s a huge challenge to win across an entire state.
This year North Dakota has three Native American candidates running for statewide office.
Chase Iron Eyes is campaigning for North Dakota’s only seat in Congress. Ruth Buffalo is seeking the post of Insurance Commissioner. And Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun is contesting a seat on the three-member Public Services Commission. All are running as Democrats.
Count ’em: Three statewide campaigns.
IronEyes is an attorney, founder of Last Real Indians, and Standing Rock Sioux.
Buffalo is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes. She is working toward “sustainable solutions to the tough problems that face Native people and nations.” She told local newspapers that there was no special effort to get so many Native Americans on the ballot but we’re “human beings who have a vested interest in our state>’
Hunte-Beaubrun has filed to run against the current chairman of the Public Service Commission, Julie Fedorchak. Hunte-Beaubrun is a Standing Rock Sioux tribal member and has a background in economic development.
The Public Service Commission regulates the oil and gas industry as well as telecommunications, weights and measures, and even pipelines.
Perhaps there is something in that North Dakota water.
In addition to the statewide races, longtime educator David Gipp is running for the North Dakota state Senate. Gipp was president and then chancellor of the United Tribes Technical College and is one of the founders of the school. He is Standing Rock Sioux.
Another Three Affiliated Tribal Member, Cesar Alvarez, is running for the state House of Representatives.
Two more ND legislative candidates who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes: Are House candidate Cheryl Ann Kary (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)
and Senate candidate Steve Allard (a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.)
So let’s add up the numbers: That’s three statewide and four district offices in a state that’s just under 6 percent American Indian. At a recent meeting of the Democratic Party, Iron Eyes said the Native American vote would have to be mobilized like never before.
It’s been said that 2016 is an outsider’s election. And you cannot get any more “outsider” than a Native American running as a general-interest candidate. North Dakota voters are putting that idea to the test.
I am Mark Trahant reporting.
Group of Standing Rock Sioux citizens protest proposed pipeline project
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs calls for subpoena of EPA leader
Minnesota tribe takes step to improve nutrition of American Indians
Comedian Ralphie May criticized for jokes about American Indians
Another Native American candidate for Congress. It looks like a record year.
This is Trahant Reports.
Chase Iron Eyes announce his candidacy for Congress at the North Dakota Democratic Convention last weekend. He was endorsed unanimously and is now the party’s nominee for the state’s only congressional seat.
He told The Forum News Service: “I’m running for Congress out of necessity. I take a look around and I see that our government is broken, and I feel responsible to do my part to try and fix this on behalf of North Dakota.”
Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a founder of Last Real Indians, and an attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project.
What’s interesting is the 38-year-old Iron Eyes would be considered by many, a flawed candidate. He has served time in prison for burglary and in many states, he would not be allowed to vote, yet alone run for Congress. But the party’s executive director told The Grand Forks Herald that Iron Eyes told party officials about his criminal record and they saw this as a story of redemption.
At the party convention last weekend Iron Eyes told his story to the party faithful. He said he had been a serious alcoholic and then turned his life around. He eventually graduated from University of Denver law school and had to go through a complex judicial process to prove he was morally fit to practice law.
Then it’s also important to remember that elections are about policy, not just people. And in this race there is a clear distinction. A choice. Iron Eyes is challenging U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer.
The North Dakota Republican made news a couple of years ago by opposing provisions in the Violence Against Women Act that recognized tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. In a 2013 post published on Last Real Indians, Melissa Merrick, a Spirit Lake tribal advocate for victims, told about an encounter with the congressman. “Cramer began what turned out to be roughly 20 minutes verbal attacks directed at me and meant for all Native people,” she wrote “Cramer stated that indeed he did vote yes on the Violence Against Women Act, but he did not agree with the Tribal Provisions and that he was sure they would be overturned in the Supreme Court.”
Merrick told Cramer about her story of survival and that Violence Against Women Act would have been a help. But, she wrote, Cramer responded, “Tribal Governments are dysfunctional. Tribal Courts are dysfunctional, and how could a non-Native man get a fair trial on the reservations?”
Another issue that most certainly will be a part of this debate will be energy development in North Dakota. In his interview with the Forum News Service IronEyes said the state needs to do a better job of managing an energy economy, including the environmental impacts. That’s the kind of debate elections are for.
This brings the number of Native Americans running for Congress to nine (and I know of at least one more who will announce next month). I’d say that’s a record, but since no one has ever charted it before there is nothing to measure against.
I am Mark Trahant reporting.
First Nation community concerned about contamination to traditional foods
University junior from Pine Ridge is one of 58 Truman Scholars
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe awarded grant to help homeless veterans
Alaska Native organization coordinating with communities threatened by fires
Native America Calling: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – Generation Indigenous LISTEN HERE
Native communities around the nation have been talking about Generation Indigenous – a big push by the Obama administration to support Native youth – that focuses on “removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed.” Sounds good, and the White House is playing up the projects being completed, networks being built, and the listening sessions and gatherings designed for youth. But what exactly is Generation Indigenous? Is it funded? Are its impacts measurable? What do it’s participant have to say? Join us as we learn about Generation Indigenous, and talk to the youth taking part in the initiative.
Today’s Native American youth are digital natives. Even on remote reservations or Alaska villages this is the digital native generation. They have grown up collecting more data on their phones — music, Facebook posts, video and photographs — than any other generation in history. They grow up connected to other Native youth across the country making deep digital friendships with dozens, even hundreds of other Native American youth. That’s new. It’s exponential.
This represents a digital opportunity for young people who live in a remote community. You can live anywhere in the world and produce videos for YouTube. Or write computer code. In 1971 a Unix computer had a couple hundred thousand lines of code. Today the software for a modern car has more than 90 million lines of code. That’s a lot of jobs for young people who have the right skills. And why not Generation Indigenous?
Republican lawmaker does not think Obama’s job plan will work
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and North Dakota sign agreement
Menominee Nation optimistic about opening Kenosha casino