Friday, July 11, 2008

Another article, and a meeting.

Another article from Indian Country Today, about the opportunities the next President will have to move forward with Native issues - namely Federal/Native relationships. The article really echoes the whole "hope" attitude of this election season:
"Both presidential candidates need to understand that Indian country is not one
homogenous group, but comprised of distinct nations. Furthermore, that each
indigenous nation has a unique and historical relationship with the United
States. From there we can begin to build the future of our relations moving
forward into the 21st century."

It also echoes some of my own thoughts after last night's meeting about Rural outreach of the Obama Alaska campaign.
I was actually pretty encouraged by the "plan" in general - really empowering local people to make the change themselves - so often not the approach taken with Alaska, much less Rural Alaska. They mentioned a few things that really reflected the idea of above - that the local communities are unique, and that no campaign in Chicago can come in to say what's best for everyone in each community. But together real, big change can be made for the better.

Looking forward to the next few months!

_

1 comment:

mpb said...

Keep pressing against stereotypes, especially within Alaska. But even mainstream folks have trouble. This, for example, is from Leonard Pitts a syndicated columnist--
Beyond the tourist haunts, Alaska is vast and unfamiliar
"Bethel, according to the last census, is home to 5,471 people. Most of them are Yupik, an American Indian people indigenous to this part of the world." [sic]
http://www.ajc.com/travel/content/travel/otherdestinations/us_stories/2008/07/15/wild_alaska_leonard_pitts.html

I have a collection of these from folks who should know better. I haven't figured out a good way to display them. The state of New Mexico has an entry called "One of our 50 is missing" about misplaced maps, extra charges for foreign deliveries, etc.

Much more serious is when legislators and government agencies fail to note actual diversity. LaDonna Harris, founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity, has a neverending task of reminding or initiating Congress into the fact that there is a fourth government organization. Tribal governments (and consequently their citizens) are left out of important health and environmental responsibilities. Or, legislation talks about "reservations" even though most tribal governments don't have reservations, e.g., Oklahoma Cherokee or the NM Pueblos.

I hope you get to the Democratic convention. I don't know if the AIO folks will be there but you might keep an eye out.