Every once in a while there is a melt down in tribal government. One side or the other refuses to budge and government stops. Then, after a while, that divide is healed and the work goes on.
That’s exactly what happened in Congress. And it’s messy. But a recent coalition, a majority vote, shows there is another way to move forward with Republicans and Democrats working together. If this holds, it’s great news for Indian Country.
But you want to know something really cool?
The demographic shift that reflects Native voting power is only beginning. What’s more the landscape is changing faster than expected and should bring about dramatic changes in states as “red” as Alaska and Oklahoma. A new report looks at the numbers and the results are stunning.
Do Alaska Native tribes possess sovereignty?
A simple question that in Alaska is an act of defiance. The state and many of its citizens have assumed, planned, and operated on the premise that tribal powers no longer exist, so the state is free to impose its will on Alaska Natives (often expressed through litigation). But court rulings and a new Interior Department measure to affirm tribal authority has raised many questions about what will happen next. Mark Trahant suggests the best course ahead is for the state to work with tribes through a government-to-government relationship. That means recognizing tribal sovereignty in Alaska.
Congress has recognized the importance and the value of tribal colleges — and that’s a good thing because 32 accredited tribal colleges and universities reach thousands of students, delivering higher education for a fraction of the cost of other public institutions.
Mark Trahant reports that tribal colleges serve another important role as “anchor institutions” contributing to reservation economies and generating new ideas
Mark Trahant says the Obama Administration’s decision to protect Arctic lands and oceans may be a turning point for the climate. This leaves oil in the ground instead of developing it and scientists say that’s key if we want to reverse global warming.
The State of the Indian Nations, delivered January 22, 2015 by NCAI President Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish), addressed the challenges facing American Indian and Alaska Native youth. Mark Trahant says students need to prepare now for the digital world.
Trahant Reports is a weekly commentary about issues facing Native America. Mark Trahant is a longtime journalist, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Commentary by Mark Trahant
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Indian Country is rarely mentioned during a presidential State of the Union. But the policies that are proposed, such as increased support for community colleges, are the smart course for this era. Read the complete report.
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation and KNBA in Anchorage, Alaska are bringing the voices of Alaska Native Artists to the radio. The Alaska Native Artist Spotlight radio series engages you directly with each artist’s vision and their connections to cultures past, present and future. Ten, two-minute podscasts spotlight the artist in their own words. Find out more at http://nativeftp.org/artistspotlight/
Daily 5-min Podcasts
December 5 – 14, 2014
The 56th Annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has millions of dollars and the 2014 World Championships up for grabs. Word With a Champ travels to Las Vegas for daily coverage December 5th through the 14th. This year, Native Americans and Canadian First Nations are well represented in one of sport’s greatest events. We pay close attention to our Native contestants as they compete in 10 go-rounds in the city of lights.
NV1 offers a podcast of the daily 5-min report, bringing you our coverage of the sold out 10 performance event.