New York Times writer Tim Egan has fast become one of my favorite bloggers. He is tapped into the modern West in a way very few mainstream writers are. Today he logs a post about Native Americans’ views on incoming President Barack Obama. Well worth a read:

In less than a week’s time, the Great White Father will be black. Amidst the euphoria and stirring of fresh ideas, there remains some suspicion.

“He’s still a politician and I’m still an Indian,” said Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning writer, a Spokane and Coeur d’Alene native.

“They all look like treaty-makers to me,” said Alexie, paraphrasing the native musician, John Trudell. “I guess that’s the puzzling and I suppose lovely thing about Indians’ love of Obama. Many have suspended their natural suspicion of politicians for him.”

So often, they are invisible, these first Americans, or frozen in iconic images of the past. We see them in Curtis prints and Remington poses, or hear something attributed to them in New Age spiritual circles. Cool, Indians.

And then a new casino opens off the interstate or a pottery exhibit is unveiled, and we realize: ah yes, they’re with us still.

With Obama’s rise, Indians have allowed themselves to dream — some, even to fall in love. He was adopted into an Indian family in Montana last May, given the name “Barack Black Eagle” by the Crow Nation.

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