New president will make impact on Native relations


Dusty Hartl, Opinions Editor

It has been three weeks since the election signified that the United States is ready for an alternative path than the one we were taking. This has left many groups wondering about their future and how the new president will address their concerns.

President Obama has made some big strides for the Native American population, but some say he did not do enough because he has not stopped the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). With many in the Standing Rock reservation calling on the president to act, others are starting to look to the new president hoping to see an ally.

President Obama said “we are monitoring this closely. I think as a general rule, my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans.”

“I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline.”

This has left many Native Americans feeling like the president does care about them. With the latest eviction notice, they are left wondering if anyone actually cares.

President-elect Trump has not made a statement about the DAPL, but he said he would reinstate construction on the pipeline. “I would absolutely approve it, 100 percent.”

Native American relations have not been strong in the past few years. However, Trump seems to making strides with the Native American population.

In October, the Washington Post said, “Trump gained the support of the newly formed Native American Coalition” New Mexico State Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage said “the Trump administration will ease restrictions on American energy reserves worth trillions of dollars. Together we will block the bureaucrats holding Native American businesses back and bring new jobs into our communities.”

The Trump administration is offering promising outlooks for the Native American populations. Although he does not mention Native American issues often, the Indian Country Today Media Network suggests “Donald Trump’s few statements addressing American Indian issues suggests he understands Indians as a group of people with few financial resources who should adopt American economic values so they will do better as competitors within the marketplace.”

Trump is a businessman, he knows how to help create competitors in the marketplace. He spent years hosting the show “Celebrity Apprentice” where he turned actors into entrepreneurs.

It is hard to gauge whether or not President-elect Trump will be better or worse for Native Americans. Many seem to think that he can help boost their economy and provide jobs while others think the opposite.

President Obama seemed to have been a good friend for the Native American populations in the US, but some say he wasn’t good enough. We can only tell after the new president takes the oath of office.

Then and only then will we know the fate of the native populations. However, regardless of what Trump does, it is important that we continue to educate ourselves on Native American issues and learn how we can be an ally to such a marginalized community.