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Who gets to be American Indian?, Politico

support tribal recognition

Natalie Fertig

Rachel Cushman was about to become a Gates Millennium scholar — a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for students of color, including American Indian students — when her tribe lost federal status in 2001. The grant was going to cover all of her college tuition, room and board.

“They had to revoke my application because of my tribe status,” said Cushman, now a councilwoman for the Chinook Nation — which sheltered and fed Lewis and Clark during the winter of 1806 in what is now Oregon.

More than 200 years later, the Chinook are still fighting for the U.S. federal government to recognize them.

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