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Paper examines Indian race relations, civil rights

The Farmington Daily Times is running a five-part series examining Indian race relations and civil rights issues in Farmington, New Mexico.

The series focuses on the findings of a recent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report. "The Farmington Report: Civil Rights for Native Americans 30 Years Later" stated that race relations and civil rights have improved in the city but major challenges remain.

In the first installment, the paper focuses on the lack of political representation in Farmington. Even though American Indians are 17 percent of the city population, there has never been an Indian on the city council.

State Rep. Ray Begaye, a Democrat, said it would be hard to elect an Indian because there is no Indian voting block in the city. Laura Harris, the executive director of Americans for Indian Opportunity, said Indians, historically, have shied from participating in state and local elections.

Get the Story:
Study: Native rights have improved (The Farmington Daily Times 3/22)

Civil Rights Commission Report:
The Farmington Report: Civil Rights for Native Americans 30 Years Later (November 2005

Related Stories:
Editorial: Race relations improving in Farmington (03/02)
Navajo race relations subject of Civil Rights report (3/1)
Navajos turn out for civil rights commission hearing (05/03)
Civil rights panel to hold hearing in Farmington (4/29)
Racism still a sore subject 30 years after murders (4/27)
Navajos see bias in New Mexico city's justice system (4/26)
Navajo homeless men claim assault by white youth (4/23)
Navajos recall discrimination by local businesses (4/22)
1974 murders of Navajo men stir strong feelings (4/21)