Mark Charles: Indian Country ignored by presidential candidates

"I live on the Navajo Reservation, and for the past six years I have been brainstorming and discussing ways our country can more intentionally include Native American into the political process. And this was going to be my break out year; I was going to do everything I could to engage with the candidates. I knew from history that they would make very little, if any, effort to court the Native American vote. So I made plans to engage with them. In January, I flew to Iowa and New Hampshire, where I attended rallies, stopped by campaign offices, and visited campaign events. I wrote letters that I hand delivered to campaign offices and also published online. I also made numerous visits to Washington, DC. I wrote letters to the White House and traversed the halls of the Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill in an effort to reach out and engage with anyone who would talk with me.

And after 12 months, thousands of dollars in travel expenses and weeks away from my community and my family…..NOTHING. The Native American vote was once again largely ignored, and I did not get a single response from either candidate to discuss native issues.

I should have known from the beginning it was going to be an uphill battle.

Last November Mitt Romney released a campaign ad where he promised that he “would never apologize for the United States of America.” This did not sit well with me as a Native American, so I responded with an article that I published on December 19, 2011 (Indianz: Mitt Romney vows never to apologize for US)."

Get the Story:
Mark Charles: My (Native) Vote (Indian Country Today 11/6)

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Mark Charles: Taking another step to form a more perfect union (11/6)

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