As longtime readers know, I’ve been blogging about American Indian political issues here for almost a year now. Yet I have only just begun to scratch the surface. I take it as a given that these issues are relevant to folks working in political philosophy, ethics, and so forth. I also understand these issues aren’t discussed much in philosophy departments or the general media.
As it happens, election time is a very good time to learn about American Indian political issues since things of particular interest to native voters are hashed out nicely in native newspapers and the blogosphere.
Most American Indians got the right to vote in U.S. elections in 1924 under the American Indian Citizenship Act. Thus, American Indians have dual citizenship. They are citizens of two sovereign political entities—their respective tribes and the U.S.—and can participate in both tribal and U.S. elections.
However, considering I know people more fluent in their native language than English and who live in rural areas without transportation to the polls, I’d assume the turnouts haven’t been that great over the years. Historically, I’d guess there has been worse turnouts for native people than for many other minorities due to severe lack of access and assistance. But that’s just an educated guess. Maybe someone with more knowledge of the history on this will help me out with the facts.
This year is reported as a historic year for native voters. The native vote is rockin’ and candidates are addressing native people and issues of concern to them.
It is in the spirit of furthering the endeavor to blog about American Indian political issues that I turn the stage over to native bloggers who have been covering this election. Following my selected list of bloggers, I’ll link to some native newspapers that are also covering the election. Although most Americans don’t know about American Indian political issues, the political decisions they make affect tribal people for better or worse.
Turtle Talk is a blog for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law. Turtle Talk has some great contributors who post very interesting posts, like this one on Obama vs McCain and the Federal Judiciary.
Alaska Real is a fabulous blog written by an Alaska Native woman with the pen name Writing Raven. Maybe you’re Palined-Out. Well, so is she. But I bet you aren’t Writing-Ravened-Out. Who could be? Check out her interesting posts, like this one on Todd Palin’s Alaska Native heritage. Writing Raven generously provides stated positions on American Indian/Alaska Native issues of the two major presidential candidates on the right side of her blog.
At Censored News, Brenda graciously delivers you the underreported news. Of interest to non-native American voters is this article on the militarization of U.S. borders. I’m guessing most Americans don’t realize there are tribes that straddle the Canadian and Mexican borders. Something folks might want to consider next time they’re thinking about securing borders and beating up brown people around there.
At triBaLOG an Alaska Native man speaks out on Palin, Oil and Alaska. And gives you a brief history lesson.
For example, check out this ICT piece by Steve Russell, who discusses how dual citzenship can mean conflict for Indian voters: Sometimes a president that’s good on Indian policy isn’t good for America. However, in the case of Sarah Palin’s record on Alaska Native issues, Russell sees no conflict.