Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Obama: so far, keeping promises to Native Americans

That's the general conclusion one draws from this report by
Erika Bolstad, One group Obama's kept his promises to: Native Americans McClatchy Newspapers 01/17/2011:

Some of the work has been symbolic — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar early in the administration restored the historic painting "Navajos Breaking Camp" in his office, after it had been mothballed during the Bush administration, for example.

But other accomplishments have had more tangible and far-reaching effects on thousands of people, including the settlement of the long-simmering Cobell lawsuit, which compensates thousands of Native Americans whose land was mismanaged while held in trust by the federal government.

There's the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which strengthens law enforcement in Indian Country. There's the inclusion of Indian Health Service in the landmark health care law, and the $3.2 billion in stimulus spending, which went to schools, roads on tribal lands and technology upgrades in some of the poorest and most remote corners of the nation.

Now though, everyone in Indian Country is watching to see what happens next, as some of the glow wears off the early victories and the Obama administration must now turn to the hard slog of getting things done.
My understanding is that many of the Native American lobbies are quite effective. The attitude indicated in that last sentence quoted is a good one for progressive groups to take on the Obama Administration: we recognize real accomplishments, and we expect you to keep delivering.

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