Last week was remarkable. Indian Country had the opportunity to visit with eleven candidates for president in a forum in Sioux City, Iowa.
Yet the conversation should not end there and so Indian Country Today has invited presidential campaigns to Arizona for an in-depth interview. Indian Country Today's newsroom is at the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix.
There are many reasons why a conversation with presidential candidates is still important. American Indians and Alaska Natives are only about two percent of the total population (yet a recent survey by the American Society of News Editors found that Native Americans are only 0.37 percent of all U.S. journalists. So even Congress does a better job reflecting Native Americans at .66 percent.)
But those small numbers are critical to campaigns in key geographic locations such as Alaska (20 percent of the state's population), Oklahoma (13 percent), New Mexico (11 percent), Montana (7 percent) and Arizona (6 percent). Numbers that are even more significant during a Democratic primary.
And in a close general election even a small margin could be the difference between a win and a loss.
Indian Country Today's offer is open to every presidential campaign. An invitation was sent to President Donald J. Trump, the field of Democratic primary candidates, and to independent candidate, Mark Charles. Charles is the first Navajo to run for president.
The video interview would take place in a Phoenix studio at the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS. The setting would be one on one with Mark Trahant, the editor of Indian Country Today.
The interviews will be posted on our site and as well as Indian Country Today's television and radio partners.