Political Matters
Political Matters: Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Thursday, January 01 2009
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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 Free Peltier!

Relatives of imprisoned American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier have launched a new effort to gain his freedom. Peltier's sister, Betty Ann Peltier-Solano, and niece, Kari Ann Cowan, have revived the Peltier defense group and renamed it the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, according to a recent Associated Press story.  (The new Peltier Defense website can be found

Should the U.S. apologize?
Tuesday, August 26 2008
Written by Mordecia Specktor,
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In his first press appearance in the U.S. after a whirlwind tour of Afghanistan and the Middle East in late July, an obviously fatigued Sen. Barack Obama took questions from Native American, Asian American, Hispanic and African American journalists gathered at the UNITY conference in Chicago.

A member of the Native American Journalists Association stood and asked Obama if he supported the congressional resolution referred to as the “apology bill” – the Senate and House resolutions apologizing for 200 years of U.S. bad behavior toward American Indians.

“I personally would want to see our tragic history or the tragic elements of our history acknowledged, and I think that there’s no doubt that, when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans, as well as other persons of color in this country, that we’ve got… some very sad and difficult things to account for,” Obama responded, and added that he would want “to consult with Native American tribes and councils” about the precise wording of an official apology.

Beijing hosts Olympics
Sunday, July 13 2008
Written by Mordecia Specktor,
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politcal mattersPolitical Matters motored to Washington, D.C., in June, for the annual conference of the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA). When I’m not writing this column, I edit and publish the American Jewish World, the weekly newspaper of the Jewish community in Minnesota. The AJPA gathering provides an opportunity to meet my colleagues from around the country and compare notes. It’s a difficult time for the newspaper industry, which is dealing with declining readership and revenues.

The conference involves a lot of seminars, so I spent most of three days in hotel meeting rooms. I did find time to attend a Washington Nationals game in the new $600 million Nationals Park – great ballpark, truly horrible team. On my last afternoon in D.C., I toured the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (On my next visit I hope to see the National Museum of the American Indian.)

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