Thursday, December 1, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Economic Pressure Builds Ahead of Elections in Tribal Areas

Play

Monday, September 26, 2022   

The economy is usually a big topic during elections. With the midterms near, recent inflation woes are especially felt in tribal areas, and Indigenous leaders in North Dakota hope it spurs turnout.

A recent national poll found 63% of Indigenous voters were experiencing serious financial problems.

Douglas Yankton, chairman of the Spirit Lake Nation, said inflation has affected programs providing an array of services on his reservation. Even though some of the pressure has eased, the ripple effect is still there.

"A lot of those services don't go as far as they used to," Yankton explained. "Let's say transportation for instance, with the prices of gas and oil and everything, we have to figure out new routes to accommodate for that full week."

He added COVID is still a concern. Cases were disproportionately felt by Native populations, and Yankton pointed out local businesses are hurting with some residents worried about close contact, limiting their ability to work or shop. Despite long-standing voting barriers for Natives, he encouraged them to make their voices heard on these issues by seeking out election resources to make it easier.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, said inflation impacts Native voters in urban settings, too. Buffalo emphasized there is a lack of a commerce hub in Fargo to secure traditional Native food staples and other items. And, she said, the economic pressure made it harder to get those items from other parts of the region.

"Like when we go to Minneapolis, we can stop at Native owned businesses where wild rice might be sold, or different types of coffee, and of course jewelry," Buffalo observed.

She suggested the lack of a local hub makes it harder for local Native entrepreneurs to sell their products. Buffalo added over the past couple of years, they have seen an influx of Indigenous women and children come to Fargo in search of services. She noted it has revealed gaps in various systems. On a broader scale, Buffalo stressed there's another key issue Indigenous voters are watching.

"We know that for decades many people have been working behind the scenes to get rid of tribal sovereignty for their own benefit," Buffalo asserted. "We really need to get to the ballot boxes to protect tribal sovereignty."

Buffalo is the first female Native American Democrat elected to North Dakota's Legislature and is seeking reelection. Her opponents did not respond to a request for comment before deadline. One of her opponents, Republican Joshua Christy, has said he supports tribal sovereignty.


get more stories like this via email
The gold dome on the Iowa Capitol has been gilded five times. The gold leaf covering the dome is 250,000th of an inch thick and is 23.75 karats. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Environment

Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…

Environment

Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …


Tom Oliver, center, receives the 2022 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. (Bruce Carlson/AARP Washington)

Social Issues

A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …

Social Issues

A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …

Officials at the state's Department of Natural Resources say last year's drought in Minnesota was likely the worst one seen since 1988. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …

Environment

By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

Environment

The nation is beefing up its power grids for the transition to fueling everything from cars to home cooling systems with electricity, and addressing …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021