Trahant: tribes are 51st State

Imagine a blogger's jaw hitting a keyboard.

Mark Trahant is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe surrounded by the State of Idaho and a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. He appeared with Karl Gehrke on Dakota Midday, the flagship broadcast on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. Trahant addressed the 2013 Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lecture at the Al Neuharth Media Center: a part of the University of South Dakota. His presentation, “Money in the Cup: The Affordable Care Act and American Indian Health Care,” explores how ACA impacts the Indian Health Service. He calls tribal nations the 51st State in health care.

The War Toilet tripped over the Black Hills Land Claim the other day exposing the GOP's ignorance of issues in Indian Country but ip hasn't bothered trying to get in over there yet today to get readers a link. They block my devices because of my serial, likely obsessive TP-ing of their bullshit so you'll have to get your own waders on and go in. Don't forget a pitchfork.

A persistent commenter over there (yep, guilty) is convinced that President Obama should issue an executive order reassigning the Black Hills National Forest and the Custer National Forest to the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a compromise seeking to settle the Claims lawsuits. These lands would be managed by professionals on a par with the current USDA protocols. Besides, how could they fuck it up worse than the Forest Service has?

The Black Hills National Forest should cease to exist and the proposed Tony Dean Wilderness should be folded into a deal for National Grassland, too, maybe under a cooperative Park Service/BIA charter with input from each stakeholder. I'll say it again: the Forest Service should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation.

Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the 1872 Mining Act, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance. Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake.

Montana's red state earth-raping machines are fueled up and ready to rip. The Otter Creek coal development would carve wide swathes through southeastern Montana burial sites. Mal-named Custer National Forest should be under Northern Cheyenne and Crow care although this blogger has witnessed that the pine bark beetle has moved deeper into the Pryors now, too.

The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Havasupi as a state under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act as an essential function of tribal governance. And, in a story from The World, a Coos Bay Lee paper, the BLM snubbed the State of Oregon and gave the Coquille tribe an opportunity to develop a sustainable forest plan for federal wildlands.

Nathan Lefthand is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He wrote this and more at Indian Country Today:
It is constitutional to create a new state out of an existing state(s), in this case, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, with the approval of those state legislatures and of Congress. The process for carving out a new state is outlined in Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution. One rider, one act of Congress, can change it all, and believe me, looking at a few of our borders; it’s getting crowded, “out there." We need to be the fifty-first state in the United States of America. The State of Navajo.
Yes, Mr. Lefthand: there is a Santa Clause.

Statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

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