Trump administration releases imaginative and prescient for Native People | Navajo-Hopi Observer


On October 21, Trump published his political vision for Indians on the White House Twitter account.

On the three-sided page, “Put America’s First People First: Don’t Forget Again!” In this document, Trump advocates developing free enterprise, promoting business development, reducing regulations on natural resource development and energy as well as the Empowering tribes to run their own land through self-government programs.

The guiding principles of Trump’s plan are respecting tribal sovereignty and self-determination, promoting safe communities, building a thriving economy with improved infrastructure and recognizing Native American heritage, and improving education and the provision of health services.

Joseph Cody, 31, of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is one of the more open online supporters of Native Trump. He calls himself “The Native Conservative”.

Cody, a lifelong Democrat, was registered as a Republican in 2018. “I found out that the media and other people in general have lied to me,” he said.

Donald Trump Jr. launches “Natives for Trump”

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer led the crowd to a chant of “Yeego, Trump!” That roughly translates to “way to go” when he introduced Donald Trump Jr. at an outdoor rally in Arizona on October 15 that created a Native American coalition for Trump.

According to the National Indian Congress, more than 60 percent of Native Americans vote democratically.

A shortly released poll of 6,400 Native Americans across the country found that only about 7 percent were identified as Republicans. The rest have been identified as independent and democratic socialists, according to the Indigenous Futures Survey, conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley in collaboration with the Center for Native American Youth, IllumiNative, and the Native Organizers Alliance.

It is figures like this that make gatherings like the one held in Williams, west of Flagstaff on October 15, so meaningful to people like Robin Briggman, Hopi of Sedona, a lifelong Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump.

“It was very exciting and great to be in a group of people who are all on one side,” said Briggman, 64. “It makes my heart happy. It made me smile.”

Briggman expressed confidence that the Native Americans, under Trump’s leadership, can expand infrastructure and business through reservations that help create jobs and housing.

“As soon as our children finish school, they leave and don’t come back because there aren’t any jobs. I’m worried our traditional ways will be lost, ”she said.

About 200 local and non-local Trump supporters participated in the Williams rally, where cowboy hats appeared to outnumber masks. US Republican Representative Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee of Oklahoma, along with Lizer, chanted the crowd with “Four Years to Go!” A phalanx of American and Arizona flags lined the stage, flapping neatly in the wind.

Some of Trump’s other prominent Native American supporters include US Republican Representative Tom Cole, Chickasaw of Oklahoma; Crow Tribal Chairman Alvin Don’t Fear Jr .; Karen Bedonie, former US Congressional candidate for New Mexico; and Elisa Martinez, former Republican Senate nominee for New Mexico.

Lizer previously supported Trump during the Republican National Convention and was not afraid at a campaign rally in Montana that was attended by Vice President Mike Pence.

But not all Native Trump supporters are so vocal.

Briggman was one of the few Indian Country Today contacted and agreed to speak on the file. Several others shared their experiences of being shamed and attacked by family, friends, and other Native people for choosing to support Trump and his policies. One source later changed her mind about being named a source because she feared it would receive negative responses.

Common themes among supporters included distrust and betrayal by democratic politicians and the press, alienation from mainstream politics, and fatigue with stagnant social and economic growth in local communities.

Overall, they claimed Trump did more for the indigenous people than any other president. All sources cited Trump’s job creation and improving the economy as the main reasons for their support.

The Biden-Harris campaign has been actively reaching out to local voters in the past few weeks, hiring a national tribal engagement director, and running a series of virtual outreach events. This month, Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris visited tribal leaders in Arizona and released a detailed plan to uphold federal trust responsibilities to tribes by addressing health inequalities, restoring tribal lands, and providing economic opportunity.

“Long way in socialism”

Recently, more conservative Republicans have used the term “socialism” to describe much of what is wrong in the Indian country.

The recently made film “A Long Road to Socialism” offers an insight into the use of this catchphrase as a collective term for the failure of reservation-based social and political systems that disempower Indians from access to the American dream.

Made and funded by Turning Point USA, the film features Karen Bedonie and Elisa Martinez, both of the Navajo tribe.

Bedonie formulates the federal welfare program and the trusting relationship with tribes as liberalism, which acts as a springboard for socialism that will eventually lead to communism.

Ultimately, this type of reservation socialism contributes to a culture of victim versus self-sufficiency, leading to despair and an escalation of substance abuse, suicide, and other social ills.

Martinez said tribal governments control trade; The federal trust relationship prevents and prevents incentives for private property.

Turning Point USA and its subsidiary Turning Point Action pays minors to send out messages that are for Trump and support conservative views and values ​​through social media, according to the Washington Post. The Washington Post characterizes Turning Point as a “troll farm,” an organization that spreads misinformation.

During his speech at the Republican Congress, Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point, described comparisons of his organization with troll farms as “gross misrepresentation”.

Turning Point USA did not respond to Indian Country Today’s email request for comment.

The Navajo Times reported that Turning Point USA was campaigning for a massive “Navajos for Trump” campaign with half-page ads in the Times, a banner ad on the newspaper’s website, and large billboards on the reservation saying “Navajos for Trump. “

The Navajo Times reporter Cindy Yurth wrote: “It is unclear whether the Navajos named in the ads are real for Trump or whether a national political action committee has been created.”

The idea of ​​socialism as an ideological surge towards communism is a page from the ultra-conservative political game book that emphasizes free enterprise, individual freedom, limited state control or regulation, and the belief that government programs provide services and opportunities for the poor that encourage addiction.

However, removing the federal government’s trust responsibility towards tribes would free the government from contractual obligations to protect Native Americans, provide health care, and other services, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

OJ Semans of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and executive director of Four Directions, an organization that promotes indigenous voting rights, told Indian Country Today in a previous article: “Let’s be honest if the United States keeps its treaties as it did years ago were written that we wouldn’t need your help. “

Semans accuses the chronic underfunding of federal treaty competences and not socialism as underlying problems in the Indian country.

“Conservative to the core”

According to Shawn Redd, the impact of excessive, confusing government red tape and regulations in deterring economic development on the reservations cannot be overlooked.

Redd, Navajo, is a lifelong Republican. Redd ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Representative in the First District of Arizona in 2016 and for President of the Navajo Nation in 2018.

Redd ran several stores on the Navajo reservation, including auto parts stores and a laundromat.

“We cannot continue to exist in a communist state where the government owns and controls everything. We have to open the reserve and start economic development, ”he said.

Redd laments a lack of restaurants, hotels and other tourist facilities on the reservation.

“We have an enormous tourist demand that cannot be met. Tourists have to work with companies outside the reserve. They are going in and out, ”he said.

Redd admits there are few Navajo Republicans who think like him.

“I get teased a little about my politics. I’m often introduced as Shawn Redd, the Republican, ”said Redd.

However, according to Redd, the Navajos are more in agreement with conservative values ​​than they may be realizing.

“The Navajo are very conservative by nature. They believe in many things that the Republican platform encompasses, such as strong family ties, self-reliance and freedom, ”he said.

Cody agrees.

“Locals are traditional, and our heritage is already conservative to the core, which makes Trump perfect for our beliefs and policies,” he said.

Publisher’s Note:

This story has been edited from its original version. The stories “Donald Trump Publishes Vision for Indian Country” and “Donald Trump Jr. Launches Natives for Trump” can be read online at

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