Every Native Vote Counts

Native nations have shown again and again they have enormous power to swing the vote. Just to name a few examples of a tribe’s votes determining an election winner:

  • Maria Cantwell - WA 2000 
  • Tim Johnson - SD 2002
  • Barack Obama - CO Primaries 2004 
  • Brad Henry - OK 2004 
  • John Tester- MT 2006
  • Lisa Murkowski - AK 2010
  • Heidi Heitkamp - ND 2012

There are over a million Native people currently eligible to vote who are not registered. Now before you go trying to figure out who to blame for not voting, consider this: There are very real challenges for Native peoples to vote. 

For example: Poverty is widespread in Indian Country. On some reservations, people might have to travel 50-100 miles to get to a polling location, which is difficult considering many reservations don’t have public transportation system.

Another example: Tribes often distribute their own tribal IDs which tend to be relatively inexpensive, and for many Natives this is their sole form of ID. States don’t always recognize tribal IDs. Often times, you do not know if your ID will be accepted until you try to use it. So if your ID gets rejected on polling day, are you realistically going to have enough time (and money) to go get a new one?

These are the Key Native Vote States, meaning historically the Native Vote has had a strong impact on the election swing. Is your state listed?:

New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Dakota

Real effort is needed to get Native voters registered, and to combat the challenges they might face in voting. Don’t just blame other people when an election doesn’t go your way–do something about it.

Native Vote Toolkit available at: NativeVote.org

Next president could face a 50-50 Senate
Any one senator — from Elizabeth Warren on the left to Ted Cruz on the right — might be empowered to block cabinet nominations. By BURGESS EVERETT and SEUNG MIN KIM

The campaign for Senate control increasingly looks like a flip-of-the-coin affair — a 50-50 split after the election is not far-fetched.

That could be a nightmare in the making for whoever wins the White House.

Any individual senator — from Elizabeth Warren on the left to Ted Cruz on the right — could almost single-handedly block the new president’s cabinet picks depending on which party is in power. If you think the past several years of Senate gridlock has been bad, it might look like a joy ride by comparison.

“It’ll be a whole new shooting match,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).

Read more here

US Senators Introduce Bill to Preserve & Expand Native American Languages

US Senators Introduce Bill to Preserve & Expand Native American Languages

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Ojibwa Anthony Roy keeping Native lanuage alive in Chicago WASHINGTON — United States Senators Jon Tester (D-Montana), Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) have introduced a bill to preserve endangered native languages. The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act creates a new grant initiative to establish…

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VICTORY! Senate Dems Block GOP Bill Tightening Entry For Syrian Refugees

Senate Democrats filibustered a GOP bill Wednesday that would have made it much harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States.

The vote of 55 to 43 fell short of the 60 votes required to move the bill forward.

Nearly all Democrats voted against the Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, which earned bipartisan support in the lower chamber last year when it passed the House with 289 votes. The bill would have barred Syrian refugees from entering the country until the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security certified each individual did not pose a risk to the safety of the United States.

Two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND), supported it. President Barack Obama had threatened to veto the bill.

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris, the issue of refugee screening emerged as a major issue both on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail. Donald Trump has suggested that the U.S. should go much further than simply making it harder for Syrian refugees to move to the U.S., and that the government should ban all Muslims from entering the country under any circumstance.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called Wednesday morning for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to also hold a vote Wednesday on Trump’s proposed religious test. McConnell declined that request.

Republican presidential contenders Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY) all voted to support the bill. According to the Associated Press, Cruz canceled campaign events to make the vote. Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) also was there and voted against it.

h/t: Lauren Fox at TPM

Take a look/read of NET 11 The Poetic Narrative curated by Ashley Kauschinger and Ethan Fogus. A lot of great photographs and poetry! Thanks again to the curators for their hard work. 


Photographs: Pascal Amoyel, Sophie Barbasch, Svetlana Biryukova, Katharina Buhler, Aaron Canipe, Brittany Carmichael, Anna Clem, Alice Connew, Bryon Darby, Annie Donovan, Casey Dorobek, Megan Douglas, Alan Eglinton, Ross Faircloth, Melissa Fennell, Caroline Heitkamp, Thomas Locke Hobbs, Kim Hoeckele, Jaime Johnson, Julia Krueger, Alex Kwok, Matthieu Litt, Colleen Mann, Sarah Moore, Jessica Naples, Sarah Pfohl, Maureen Price, Ian Sherlock, Jordan Swartz, Ashley Whitt, Alex Christopher Williams and Dominca Paige.
Poems: Annie Donovan, Sara Hughes, Lucas Khan, Noah Kucij, Daniel Lamb, Juan Madrid, Sherwin Altarez Mapanoo, Teresa McMahon, Jessica Naples, Janelle Ranier and D’Angelo Williams

Make sure to checkout the prompt for NET 12: Sans Visage: The Anti Portrait with curators Kathleen and Christopher Sleboda of Draw Down. Deadline is December 7th, 2014 at 11:59pm.

Senate Republicans rejected a bill that aims to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns, on Thursday. The vote came a day after at least 14 people were killed during the San Bernardino massacre in California by two suspects, including a woman said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS. Forty-five senators voted for the bill and 54 voted against it. One Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, crossed party lines. The measure would have denied people on the terrorist watch list the ability to buy guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the legislation, argued that former President George W. Bush initially proposed the legislation in 2007, and the Obama administration also supports it. “If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote blocking a bill to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives,” she said. “Congress has been paralyzed by the gun lobby for years, while more and more Americans are killed in mass shootings. The carnage won’t stop until Congress finds the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect the nation.”