Gyasi Ross: Why Indians support Sen. Obama
"This election is just not about politics.

Traveling from reservation to reservation – as I am fortunate enough to do on behalf of Barack Obama – it’s obvious that the reason that Natives overwhelmingly support Sen. Obama to be the next president of the United States has absolutely zero to do with politics. It has everything to do with real life.

You might have heard that 100 tribal leaders formally endorsed Sen. Obama, and I know many more that have not formally endorsed, but whisper to me, “of course I support your campaign.” They support Obama for many reasons – from his work to make sure that tribal authorities can protect Native women from non-Native abusers, to assuring an American Indian policy adviser as a senior staff position in his White House. These are all novel political ideas that are completely appropriate and necessary for Indian country to gain traction and fully exercise its sovereignty.

Those reasons are very important, no doubt.

But the reasons that such an enormous amount of us “regular” Indians support Obama (and it’s very rare that I run into a Native who does not support Obama) are much simpler and less reducible to a talking point.

It took me a while to figure it out, but I have realized that the interest in Sen. Obama is not about politics – it’s about bringing positive and fundamental change to improve our Indian way of life."

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Life: The real reason that Indians overwhelmingly support Obama (Indian Country Today 10/22)

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