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Editorial: Show some respect for Idaho's tribes

"Idaho legislators could help repair their state's relationship with its five American Indian tribes by heeding a North Idaho lawmaker's request.

Before legislators consider matters that would affect state-tribe relations, state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, asked last week, they should run the issue past the Idaho Council on Indian Affairs. Common sense would dictate that they do. But a sensible approach to Indian issues isn't a trademark of the Idaho Legislature. Some of the bitterest battles in recent years involve legislative attempts to impose state law on federally protected reservation practices.

Idaho legislators are quick to rely on the advice of lobbyists representing business, agriculture, the tobacco industry and the state's cities and counties. They do so with an eye toward economic development, job creation and increased revenue. Yet they treat the emerging reservation economies as unimportant or threats. Some lawmakers will always treat the tribes shabbily. But legislative leaders should follow Jorgenson's lead in learning to appreciate them."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Show some respect (The Spokesman Review 1/30)

Relevant Links:
Coeur d'Alene Tribe -
Nez Perce Tribe -
Shoshone-Bannock Nation -

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