Gyasi Ross: What Donald Trump's win means for Indian Country

Republican president-elect Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Photo by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

Reality is settling in slowly -- Republican Donald Trump will soon be the 45th president of the United States. Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet), the editor at large for Indian Country Today, offers some thoughts on ways for Indian Country to stay engaged:
Look, Trump is a threat to literally every single brown person and also women of every color on this continent (and maybe around the world). But he poses a unique threat to Native people because of our relationship with the federal government. Not to be dramatic, but one bad federal administration can literally end the legal and political status of Native nations as we know it. That’s called “plenary authority.” Put bluntly, we will not make any positive strides during the Trump Administration. It is naïve to believe that we will. Instead, we will need to work together, strategize and execute how to work together in a way that mitigates damage.

This is going to be a tough four years. It WILL affect Native communities in a disparate manner. We will have to work together as much as possible, hopefully making agreements with the respective states our Nations reside in, and try to avoid federal court. Here’s the thing (and I recognize this is a hard sell): as my sister Nicole Willis points out, we have to have amazing and grounded Native people working for Donald Trump. Ew, I know, but we have to have folks willing to educate his Administration and advocate for Native positions. Without further education, we are in trouble—we need some folks to help with his learning curve and hopefully evolve him from his current positions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to change and if there are Native people who help him evolve? Good. His current positions…they are scary.

Read More:
Gyasi Ross: A Few Thoughts on The Election and What President Trump Means for Indian Country (Indian Country Today 11/16)

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