Indianz – Mark Trahant: Ten reasons why every Native person should vote

Here. An excerpt of the importance in voting, especially in a mid-term election:

Why vote? It takes planning, some time, and the rewards are not always visible. The same problems will surround American Indians and Alaska Natives before and after the election.

It’s easy to be trite and type, “this election matters more than most” and then cite specifics to make that case. But it’s not true. Win or lose (no matter who we support) life will go on.

But there are reasons to vote. Examples big and small that show how we can make a difference. Here we go.One. Because voting is an act of sovereignty. The late Billy Frank Jr. used to articulate different ways that we practice sovereignty today. Taking a fish is an act of sovereignty. Using an eagle feather is sovereignty. Or picking berries.

I would add voting to that list. There’s a great example going on right now: the Independence vote in Scotland. Every Scot citizen, 16-years and older, will have a say about their future country. But that voice is only possible now because of Scotland’s participation in the United Kingdom’s electoral process. The idea of returning power had to be ratified in Parliament, a proposition demanded and promoted by the elected representatives from Scotland. Other countries have gone to war over independence. But Scotland is voting. The ultimate use of sovereignty.

Two. Because too many folks don’t want you to vote. Too many government officials are taking steps to make casting a ballot harder, limiting early voting options, alternative polling spots, or failing to account for native languages. Across the country there are lawsuitsseeking resolution.

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