Minnesota state representative Steve Green, R-Fosston, is singled out by independent journalist and member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Mark Trahant, Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota, in THE ELECTED: Opening up a channel for discourse about Indian Country’s issues:
Indian Country cannot afford to close the door to Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures, especially those Native Americans who have been elected to office and serve as Republicans.
There are two tribal citizens serving in Congress: Representatives Tom Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and Markwayne Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation.
There are at least at least a dozen Native American Republicans serving in state legislatures (compared to 51 Democrats) in seven states. That list includes Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, a Democrat, but he caucuses with the Republican majority and now serves as a chair of several committees and sub-committees. Hoffman is Yup’ik. In the Alaska House, Rep. Charisse Millett, Inupiaq, is now her party’s minority leader.
Not all the elected Native American Republicans make tribal issues any sort of priority. Minnesota Rep. Steve Green, for example, does not include tribal membership in his biography or in his campaign literature. Yet his district includes the White Earth Nation.
However most of the Native American Republicans who are elected to office also engage in Native policy issues before state legislatures, including support for enhancing tribal languages, teaching Native history, expanding or limiting tribal jurisdiction, voting rights, and, soon, state measures to shape the next version of health care reform.
Read the entire article at Trahant Reports. To be fair to Green--who opposed the White Earth Nation's Outdoor Heritage project on the Wild Rice River--it's worth noting that he's co-author on two bills of native interest in 2017: HF1307, which would fund an American Indian workforce training pilot project and HF0630, which would provide child out-of-home placement cost aid under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
However, that remains slim pickings compared with the nine native/tribal-related bills St. Louis Park DFLer and White Earth Nation member Peggy Flanagan has authored or co-authored--ranging from Matt Dean's HF0597 (funding White Earth Band of Ojibwe child welfare services) to bills related to protecting wolves and wild rice waters.
Flanagan is one of four native women serving in the Minnesota legislature, Lee Egerstom reported in Native Women in MN Legislature for The Circle.
Graphic image: From Trahant Report article THE ELECTED: Opening up a channel for discourse about Indian Country’s issues.
If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 33166 770th Ave, Ortonville, MN 56278) or use the paypal button in the upper right hand corner of this post. Those wishing to make a small ongoing monthly contribution should click on the paypal subscription button.
Or you can contribute via this link to paypal; use email firstname.lastname@example.org as recipient.