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Opinion
Tim Giago: Politicians need to know Indian law


"It takes years for an elected official to learn Indian law. When any politician who has spent years learning is lost, it moves the Indian people back to square one. It is akin to working with an open-minded editor of a non-Indian newspaper for many years and when that editor moves to another job or retires, if you are an Indian writer, you have to start all over again. I have experienced this many times in my career as a syndicated columnist and journalist.

But I believe that the Indian people have relied on one party to advance their goals for too many years. And yet, when the wealthier tribes invest millions to enhance their lobbying efforts in Washington, D. C., and have turned to Republicans like Jack Abramoff, a powerful lobbyist in his day, they find that their trust has not only been misplaced, but they also find that their money has been ripped right out of their pockets. Who in the world can they trust? When their venture into paying Republicans for support is thrown back into their faces, many tribal leaders go back to the safety of the Democratic net.

There are still some true and knowledgeable politicians out there. They have made it their choice to study the law, history, culture and the needs of the Indian tribes within their state borders and they can still bring this knowledge to the table."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: Knowledge of Indian law vital to politicians (The Native American Times 10/10)

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