President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump. Photo: Andrea Hanks / White House
Opinion | Politics

Charles Kader: How can President Trump really 'love' Indian Country?

President Donald Trump held his first official event with tribal leaders last week and said he and his team "love" Indian Country. But with budget cuts and other threats facing the first Americans, Charles Kader, a citizen of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, doesn't think there's much to celebrate:
July 4, 2017 will be known as one commemorated by a widely divided American citizenry. For U.S. President Donald J. Trump, it will be his first since being elected, but also highlights a time to reflect on his Administration’s effective dismantlement of America’s preeminent role as a world leader. Closely following that global political abdication is the declining state of American Indian affairs involving both tribal governments and Native individuals alike. Are these indeed dire times to be living through as some say or is there a silver lining foretelling a wider international “peace in our own time”?

Across the globe, people are chattering, saying that America had left the world leadership stage empty when it settled on a narrow-sighted bigot who prefers loud talk over action. The expensive role as the world’s police department that the United States assumed in the 20th century has been defunded in 2017 as a result of neo-isolationism preferred by the myopic businessman turned reality television star. He has lived up to his campaign promise to surround himself with American military generals including one as Secretary of Homeland Security and a retired Navy Seal Team Commander as Secretary of the Interior to boot.

Trump’s recent public statement that he “loves” Indian country brings the message home all that much faster. While I may say that I also love Indian country, or at least the Indian Country Media Network, I abhor the legal notion of Indian country as representing the federal trust land status where many reservations are located. Like those affected Native people were given something as opposed to the distinction of people who had their actual homes taken from them under the threat of death.

Read More on the Story:
Charles Kader: July 4: America Is Celebrating Its Democracy, Not Its Freedom (Indian Country Media Network 7/4)