This Fall’s Midterm Elections: DPE, CISAT Receive Extensive Media Coverage
For their involvement in the situation facing many Native American voters this election season, especially on North Dakota reservations, members of our DPE and CISAT faculties were the subjects of extensive media coverage by a multitude of media outlets.
CGU was featured or referenced in at least a dozen articles and interviews published or broadcast by major outlets between mid-October and election day on November 6. A voter ID law requiring North Dakota voters to present identification with street addresses—on Native American reservations, street addresses aren’t common; most use P.O. Boxes—would have disqualified many from casting their votes in the 2018 election.
CGU’s earliest media attention was because of DPE professors Jean Schroedel and Melissa Rogers, who published a commentary piece about this situation, “What Keeps Native Americans from voting—and what could change this,” in the Washington Post two weeks before the elections. Read their commentary piece.
Schroedel also worked with colleague Brian Hilton, a member of the CISAT faculty and a specialist in digital geographic mapping, to quickly put together a mapping of tribal lands that assigned street addresses to residents of the Turtle Mountain, Standing Rock, and Spirit Lake reservations.
They described the process of mapping reservations in a CGU video that was quickly produced before the elections. Watch the video.
Schroedel and Hilton’s collaboration to assist these voters provides a vivid illustration of the university’s centerpiece philosophy of transdisciplinarity–that complex problems require scholars to transcend boundaries and categories in order to come up with the best solutions to real-world challenges.
“I can’t think of another time where I felt that the research that any of us did mattered quite as much,” Schroedel said in the CGU video.
Their efforts enabled many Native American voters to participate in this season’s midterms. Media coverage also spotlighted OJ and Barb Semans, who received honorary doctorates from CGU in 2017.
A selection of other media coverage featuring CGU faculty involvement includes:
- Time Magazine, “North Dakota’s Voter ID Law Disproportionately Affects Native Americans. Here’s How They’re Mobilizing to Fight It”
- New York Times, “In North Dakota, Native Americans Try to Turn an ID Law to Their Advantage”
- Los Angeles Times, “In Arizona, Native Americans try to boost turnout: ‘Our ancestors couldn’t vote, but we can’ “
- BuzzFeed, “Native Americans Aren’t Fighting For Democrats in North Dakota—They’re Fighting for Their Voice”
- Pacific Standard, “How Native American Leaders Are Trying to Tackle Voter Suppression in North Dakota”