Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
New Year's Day is a transition into the unknown. This New Year's Day ushers in an important year in Indian Country.
One immediate Native Challenge is the Keystone XL pipeline that was part of the payroll tax cut passed by Congress just before Christmas.
The 1,700 mile-long Canada to Texas pipeline is opposed by American Indians and environmental groups. Perhaps at most danger to American Indian tribal lands is in South Dakota between the proposed pipeline route that will go through the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two places.
With 2012 being an federal election year, there are at least three opportunities to elect American Indians to Congress. Two young, educated and capable candidates are running this year alongside the only American Indian in Congress:
Wenona Benally Baldenegro, Navajo, is running for the Democratic Party's nomination in Arizona's 1st Congressional district and
Derek Bailey, Ottawa, is running Democratic Party's nomination in Michigan's 1st Congressional district.
Congressman Tom Cole, Chickasaw, is expected to run for reelection in Oklahoma's 4th District.
With this year also being a presidential election year, there is a great opportunity for American Indians to make their voices heard at the polls. American Indians can be the tipping point in votes in key states in Indian Country.
The Native News Network looks forward to covering the campaigns of American Indians running for office and believes in the power of the Native vote!
As our nation prepares to ring in the New Year, the US Census Bureau projects the January 1, 2012, total United States population will be 312,780,968. This would represent an increase of 2,250,129, or 0.7 percent, from New Year's Day 2011, and an increase of 4,035,430, or 1.3 percent, since Census Day (April 1, 2010).
In January 2012, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds.
Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the US population every 46 seconds in January 2012. The combination of births, deaths and net international migration results in an increase in the total US population of one person every 17 seconds.
Even though New Year's Day represents the transition into the unknown, we can look back with thanks for the many positive things happening to American Indians, as we work hard to overcome the obstacles.
We thank the Creator for another year of life on Mother Earth! Please have safe New Year's weekend.
posted December 31, 2011 7:00 am est
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