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Trent Shores is mission motivated

Trent Shores in on the show today to talk about work he's done with the Department of Justice and his future endeavors. Plus John Tahsuda joins us to talk about policy and the impact on Indian Country.

After 18 years in the Department of Justice, Trent Shores has a new job. A member of the Choctaw Nation, Shores is joining the Tulsa-based law firm GableGotwals as a shareholder. He served under four Presidents and seven US Attorneys General. He joins us today to talk about his transition and the road ahead.

John Tahsuda, who is Kiowa, is a former principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. He served in that position from 2017 to 2020. He also worked as the staff director for the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee in 2002. John will speak with us about policy and the impact on Indian Country.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • The U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development is announcing an historic investment of 450 million dollars in housing support for Tribal communities. 
  • Operation Fish drop is underway in Alaska. 
  • A new COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Oakland, California is catering to the Mayan speaking community. 
  • Members of the remote Baré Indigenous community in Brazil are now receiving Covid-19 vaccines. 
  • It’s a novel ten years in the making and now Angeline Boulley is ready to reveal it to the world. 

You'll find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast.

Some quotes from today's show

Trent Shores:

"It was a really interesting time to be a United States attorney. Early in my tenure, we experienced the longest ever government shutdown in history. And shortly after that we experienced what would be a global pandemic coupled with civil unrest, misconduct, an excessive use of force by police officers and other cities that impacted what was going on in the community and police conversation nationwide. And then of course we layered on top of all of that, the McGirt decision from the Supreme court that had just a significant and substantial impact certainly here in Oklahoma."

"It impacted the resources for federal state and tribal law enforcement and justice systems, and really continues to do so today. So it was exciting. There was certainly never a dull moment having walked away from the job when president Biden asked for the resignations of all the United States attorneys, I'll be honest, it was really tough. I loved my 18 years at DOJ. I'm a mission motivated guy and it was tough to have to walk away from the mission of the Justice department."

John Tahsuda:

"I think that there is obviously a conscious effort to try to get a more visible Indian view into the policy levels of the (interior) department which is great, obviously from the tribal perspective and those who would like to see the department expend more energy on those policy issues. The challenge comes whenever they have to deal with the issues that cross over into other bureaus and other areas of the department and making sure that they're still able to effectively perform those functions as well as make sure that they don't negatively impact the tribal functions."

"That was really excited to see Janie (Hipp) get named as the general counsel. I've known Janie for a number of years. A great lady, very intelligent. And she had time in the Obama administration. And so it's great when we have somebody who can bring both the sort of thought process of academia into the administration and really kind of bringing what is high level thinking, in an academic setting, but bring it into the real world and deliver it to not just tribes, but really rural America and all the people that that department serves."

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

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