Kevin Abourezk: Looking back on a year in limbo
"The top news stories of the year: Barack Obama gets elected president, the economy slides deeper into recession, George W. Bush ends his final term as president.

So, I got to thinking.

What are the 10 top stories in Indian Country?

How would one person go about trying to decide that?

Obviously, one person can't. Indian Country is a vast network of interconnected tribes, each with its own history, culture and values.

So, by its very nature, such a list can only be a subjective interpretation of the past year's events as they relate to Indians. With that caveat, I present the following top stories of 2008 in Indian Country:

• The Indian Health Care Improvement Act: Indian health advocates have spent years trying to get the legislation authorizing delivery of health care to all Native Americans reauthorized in Congress. This year, they came painfully close, winning passage of this bill in the Senate before seeing their endeavors trumped by a failing economy and congressional leaders more interested in making political hay out of this vital piece of legislation than helping this country's first peoples.

• Indian Housing Bill: Congress passes the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2008, and President Bush signs it. The act provides formula-based block grant assistance to Indian tribes, which allows them the flexibility to design housing programs to address the needs of their communities.

• Obama reaches out to Native Americans, winning their hearts and minds over Hillary Clinton, whose husband, Bill, was considered a friend to Indian Country. Later, Native voters will, by and large, choose Obama over John McCain, also considered by many a friend to Natives."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Looking Back on a Year Spent in Limbo (RezNet News 12/18)

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