Column: Obama gives hope to Native people
"It appears to me that George W. Bush has left the United States in such a mess that no white man will want to be president. The United States is involved in two wars, it's mired in debt, its international reputation is in tatters and it's heading into a recession. It looks like a good time to hand off the reins of power to a minority.

So now Barack Obama has been given the keys to the White House; now what? Can he live up to the hype? Can he deliver when the U.S. is running a trillion-dollar deficit? Can he slow the slide into recession? To deliver even a small part of what's committed he will need the co-operation of Congress and the patience of the voters.

In his acceptance speech he mentioned that it may take over a year or even his first term to get where he wants to go. He is already lowering expectations in the face of grim reality.

On the other hand we witnessed a sea of change in American politics. The people took back their government with the largest voter turnout since 1908.

We have to keep in mind that it was only 50 years ago that black people were segregated and, like First Nations people in Canada, they were not allowed to vote. When they received the vote they were stymied by voter registration red tape and outright hostility. In most states voter registration is a tool to eliminate minorities and maintain the status quo. To elect an African-American to the highest office in the land is a remarkable feat.

Obama's support came from all minority groups especially within the Latino and Native American communities. His support within the Native American community averaged 83 per cent overall. In the younger demographic of Native American voters age 18-34 his support was 91 per cent. In John McCain's home state of Arizona the Native American support for Obama was 91 per cent."

Get the Story:
Doug Cuthand: Obama's election gives hope to minorities (The Regina Leader-Post 11/10)

Relevant Documents:
NCAI Post-Election Analysis (November 2008)

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