I have never attempted to blog before. I have learned so far that launching one is not so simple. More importantly (perhaps) is that once the blog is published it doesn’t just automatically appear in search engines just like Google. It takes weeks, maybe even months for the blog to work its way into the mainstream index for searchers to find you.
So as an example, if someone searches for current information on voting for the upcoming election on November 6th, at this moment this blog site will not appear. Of course, I should have started this a while ago but this blog is just a recent idea. Certainly, I would like every Indigenous voter in Michigan to read this prior to election day and since the requirement for registration is only 2 weeks away–these blogs are highly unlikely to be read before the registration deadline.
What I am doing is sending out the link to this blog to as many people as I can and asking that they, in turn, share it with as many people as they can, and so hopefully those who receive the link will pass it along.
When I look at the latest census figures, the Indigenous population is roughly .7% of Michigan’s total population (9.9 million), or approximately 70,000. There are about 40,000 eligible Indigenous Michigan voters, according to the latest census figures. There is no record of how many eligible Indigenous Michigan voters are registered. According to the National Congress of American Indians, “Every Native Vote Counts,” statistics, roughly 64% of all eligible native voters are registered.
The Census reports that in the 2016 election, about 64% of the total U.S. population was registered to vote and about 56% actually voted. Again, there is no record of Indigenous Voter turnout in Michigan. 2016, of course, was a presidential election year which typically records a greater proportion of both registered and actual voters than say, mid-term election cycles.
Statistics sometimes have less value in Indigenous matters, but they can help shape a backdrop for us to imagine both potential and possibilities. The goal for Indigenous Michigan voters should be 100% registration, followed by a 100% turnout on November 6th. This election will have far-reaching consequences for our rising generations and we have an ancient obligation to them to ensure that the results weigh more favorably for their future.
In my lifetime I can think of no greater threat to our sovereignty, to our cultures, our citizens, our communities and governments. As indigenous people we live in distinct ways from one another, have distinct cultures, languages, and traditions. We do, however, have a very distinct and ancient commonality among us–to fight for the future of our children and grandchildren, and so on.
Make sure you are registered to vote; make sure your family and neighbors are registered to vote. Ask at family gatherings, at the Elder luncheons and any other community event–, “Are you registered to vote in November’s election.” That is the first challenge, to get as many Indigenous voters registered as possible.
The election of 2018 has enormous consequences for us all.