September 16, 2008

How Republicans "support" Indians

Here are three examples of how Republicans have "supported" Indians and would "support" them in a McCain/Palin administration.

First, Ben Nighthorse Campbell explains how Sarah Palin supports Native rights:

Nighthorse Campbell:  Governor Palin supports Native communitiesThe state of Alaska has always disagreed with how the United States proposes to regulate hunting and fishing in Alaska, and has filed several lawsuits over the years, including those cited by the attorneys mentioned above. When she became governor in 2006 after defeating the incumbent Republican governor, Palin inherited responsibility for those lawsuits.

To be fair, I am sure that most Alaska Native communities would have preferred that the state had taken a position that made Native subsistence practices a priority over all others. With many Alaska Natives being “rural residents,” they benefit significantly from the subsistence preference in ANILCA.

However, that federal law provides rights for all rural residents; and as governor, Palin is responsible to advocate for the interests of all Alaskans, Native and non-Native.
In other words, Palin opposes Native rights. For more on the subject, see Miller:  Sarah Palin’s Hostile Record on Alaska Native Subsistence.

Then there's the Bush/McCain failure to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act:

Stand up, Congress, and pass Indian health legislationThe time has come for Congress to stand up and protect the lives of American Indians through reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

What if your life expectancy was cut by 10 years?

What if someone you love had a brain tumor misdiagnosed as depression?

For American Indians, this is a reality. Thousands upon thousands of Native people are dying, right here in our backyard, because of terrible health care. Most Native communities have only one doctor and that one doctor sees 10 people a day. Indian country’s health care system is Indian country’s health care system is so poor that cancer is being misdiagnosed as depression.
Finally, there's the McCain/Palin campaign against earmarks--excluding the millions of dollars in earmarks accepted by Palin, of course:

Guest letter:  How an earmark can be worth every pennyRep. John Kline argues that federal earmarks are a "waste of your hard-earned tax dollars" and should be eliminated entirely (Opinion, Wednesday, Aug. 20). While I have no doubt that significant resources are squandered on seemingly inane projects, and a review of the federal appropriations system would benefit taxpayers, I offer one example of how federal earmarks can be a life-saving, cost-saving means to a end that benefit all of us.

The Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center (MIWRC) of Minneapolis was awarded a federal earmark in the 2008 session to help us develop a culturally appropriate, gender-specific dual diagnosis treatment program for American Indian women that incorporates a sexual violence intervention. To our knowledge, this treatment model does not exist, yet presents a holistic approach to healing a population disproportionately affected by sexual violence, chemical dependency and mental illness.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Why Indians Are Democrats.

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