Can Tribes, Counties Get Along?

[imgbelt img=shosoneflag.gif]An Idaho county is trying to move on to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. We’ve seen this story before.


Role-reversal: Indian tribes help other governments.” The story is about local government partnerships with tribes in Washington and Wisconsin. There are also significant tribal financial contributions made to school districts and to community colleges. 

Of course there is a long history of tense relations between tribes and county (and other local) governments and the current economic situation isn’t going to change that immediately. Some counties will cling to the old script and waste resources. But a growing number of local governments recognize the advantages of working with tribal governments because it serves constituents. It’s time to rewrite the old script and create partnerships that work for every citizen. It will make for a better neighborhood.

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Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s recent book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.