I’ve been receiving Indian Country Today for about two years. As a non-Indian interested in Indian affairs and involved somewhat in the American Indian Education Foundation and the American Indian Relief Council, I was very encouraged by Mr. Baker-Shenk’s Perspective, “Evaluating Indian Policy in the Obama Administration” [vol . 28, no. 32]. It’s one of the most informative I’ve read in ICT.
At the end of the article, Mr. Baker-Shenk points out that increasing funding for tribal projects will be extremely challenging in our present economic context. While this is probably true, there is much intangible gain that may be achieved by increasing public and government awareness of significant American Indian issues, and a good time to focus on this is while a new presidential team transitions into leadership. The procedure Mr. Baker-Shenk lays out by which a more substantial dialogue between tribal leaders and appropriate government entities seems simple and excellent. Following his advice could enhance government and national awareness of the actual existence of American Indians and the issues they have been struggling with for decades.
I learned more and gained more insight about Indian affairs from reading this article than from many of the books I’ve read in an effort to gain greater understanding of what is going on in Indian country.
– David Haag, PhD