Associated Press, 7-14 -08
mull Obama, McCain at event
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Hundreds of young Native Americans gathering for a five-day conference here are being
urged to become politically active because the American Indian vote could make a difference in this year's
Jackson Slim Brossy, legislative associate of the nonpartisan National Congress of American Indians, said
— which traditionally has been Democratic
— is up for grabs this year as Sens. Barack Obama and
John McCain both try to woo it.
He said the Indian vote was a factor in Obama's defeat of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in June's Montana primary,
as well as in past victories of U.S. Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Heather Wilson,
"The Native American vote has been overlooked in the past, but
there's a trend of it making a difference and I
think 2008 will continue the trend
," Brossy told The Associated Press.
"The vote will go to the candidate who reaches out more to Indian country and has the best policies for Indian
country," he added.
Both McCain and Obama tried to do just that
with messages for the 1,000-odd attendees at the annual United
National Indian Tribal Youth conference in Reno. The gathering ends Tuesday.
B. That means they would latch onto the plan.
Democratic Rep. Conyers, House Judiciary Chair, supports Indian Rights.
‘Longest Walk 2’ demands Native rights, respect of earth
One of the sixteen resolutions attached to the manifesto calls on the U.S. government to free Native American
political prisoner Leonard Peltier, whose frame-up was also an issue in the 1978 Longest Walk. The section titled
“Ongoing Colonization of Mother Earth’s Sacred Places” addresses in detail the abuse of the land by military testing
and by multinational corporations who take out uranium, coal, copper and trees from predominantly Native territory
and leave behind contaminated water and nuclear waste dumps. Another section rejects “the occupiers’ borders
imposed on this land,” as well as “NAFTA and other policies [which] force our people from their land.”
thanked all who had joined the walk, saying, “This is the first struggle—the Indian people.” He
acknowledged that past treaties have always been stepped on by the U.S. government. When
Conyers said he
would hold hearings on the LW2 manifesto in a full congressional session
, the crowd erupted. Banks thanked
Conyers, saying, “
This is the first time that anyone from the U.S. Congress has acted on any Indian manifesto.
This is already a victory!”