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Election day

September 30, 2008

Today is primary day on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.  I took a few minutes out of my workday to drive through town and observe the hustle and bustle on Cheyenne Avenue, where candidates for tribal offices are out with shade-tents and posters and, of course, food, all in an effort to encourage voters to enter their names on the ballots.  There are at least six different candidate stations sprawled along the avenue from the blinking light at Rt. 212 all the way to the lube center. 

It’s quite a lively scene, and quite an important election considering the former tribal president was forced out of office partway through his term.  Just as at the national level, people are fed up with politics as usual and are looking for a candidate who will represent the tribe as a whole rather than his or her personal interests.  Based on rumors around the rez, the tribal council is, if not corrupt, notoriously ineffective.  People seem eager for change, but will they continue to push for it after the elections, or will the tribe return to politics as usual?  Will our nation push for change at the national level after the first Tuesday in November, or will we allow our politicians to return to politics as usual once the elections are over and done?

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