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Ron Toya: Big bad Bush has done lots for Natives

"The big, bad Republican Party and their mean leader, George W. Bush have done well for America's Native people. After 40 years of trying, Indian country finally has a National American Indian Training Center.

The determination and actions by President Bush and former Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton made the center a reality.

The president supports the American Indian Self-Determination Act. He believes, as tribal governments do, that decisions impacting local governments need to be made locally. For example, education standards under the No Child Left Behind Act are left to state governments to determine, not the federal government in Washington.

Tribes support this concept as well, preferring to set standards and curricula at the reservation level and not to be dictated by Washington, where Democrats want education standards and curricula set.

By the way, President Richard Nixon, a Republican, guided the self-determination legislation through Congress and signed the original landmark act.

President Bush raised BIA education funding by 25 percent. And not just for one year, but for three straight years (totaling 74.5 percent). School construction was increased to construct or replace three times the amount of schools Democrat Bill Clinton spent over the same period of time.

For the first time, BIA-funded schools (two-thirds of which are run by tribes and tribal organizations) became eligible for funding under the Reading First initiative.

American Indian people also support many conservative positions on issues, as opposed to those positions pushed by liberal activists. Take abortion, for example. Indian people have strong Christian (and other religious) beliefs that oppose abortion."

Get the Story:
Ron Toya: 'Conservative Indian' is not an oxymoron (The Alamogordo Daily News 12/7)

Related Stories:
Column: Young Natives wrong to challenge 'Redskins' (08/31)
Opinion: Tribes must consider all political parties (07/28)