Debra Haaland: Donald Trump mocks Native people and our history

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Photo from Facebook

Debra Haaland (Laguna Pueblo), the first Native woman to serve as chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, condemns Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his "disrespectful" race-based attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts):
First, I doubt very seriously that Donald Trump is any authority on Native Americans. For example, Elizabeth Warren identifies as Cherokee and Pocahontas is Powhatan. Trump doesn't understand how or why Native folks choose to identify themselves or how tribes place individuals on their tribal rolls. He may never have heard that tribes have the authority to make their own enrollment laws and be ruled by them.

For centuries Native people were moved. Large numbers were forced to walk, forced on trains, sent to boarding schools thousands of miles from their communities, and sometimes they never went back home. Some absences of tribal members were a great hardship for a tribe to bear, and the systematic attempts at assimilation (and even extermination) caused many tribes to lose things - family heirlooms, land, songs, dances, traditions. We owe a debt of gratitude to our ancestors for not dying off and ultimately to our tribal governments for fighting hard through the years to regain much of what we had lost. I myself feel very fortunate to have my community that I can call home.

Trump’s very use of Pocahontas’ name is disrespectful. The story of Pocahontas is heart-wrenching. Toward the end of her life she left her people, went to England, contracted a disease and died at a very young age. When I think of that story - and the hundreds of sad and disturbing stories of how Native people have suffered throughout history, I can’t imagine making a mockery of their names or their lives. In my culture, we have deep respect for our relatives who have gone before us. It would be an utter disgrace to carry on as Donald Trump has about a Native woman whose life was cut short in a terrible way.

Get the Story:
Debra Haaland: Trump's Very Use of Pocahontas's Name Is Disrespectful (Indian Country Today 5/29)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Ruth Hopkins: Elizabeth Warren is counting coup on Donald Trump (5/31)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen Deborah Parker lands role in crafting Democratic platform (05/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (05/24)
Donald Trump claims 'Jack Abrahamoff scandal' proves him right (5/23)
Native Sun News: Bernie Sanders stages rallies in Lakota country (5/19)
Harris and Goodhope: Bernie Sanders shares our cultural values (5/19)
Steve Russell: Unpopular politicians represent splintered parties (5/19)
Sandia Pueblo welcomes media to GOP convention in New Mexico (5/19)
Donald Trump's long and strained relationship with Indian gaming (5/19)
Donald Trump releases list of potential Supreme Court nominees (5/18)
Sandia Pueblo bans media from upcoming Republican meeting (5/18)
Mark Trahant: Indian Republican Tom Cole backs Donald Trump (5/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Democrat Bernie Sanders puts the people first (5/17)
Mark Trahant: Media failing on Bernie Sanders and Native issues (5/16)
Leon Thompson: Bernie Sanders is fighting to protect tribal rights (5/16)
Bernie Sanders promises to tackle inequality in Indian Country (5/12)
Mark Trahant: Reinventing democracy with Indian Country's help (5/11)
David Wilkins: Native people choose different political allegiances (5/11)
Bernie Sanders hosts community meeting on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/10)
Sen. Warren stands up to Donald Trump despite his 'Indian' insults (5/10)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump brings good news to Native candidates (5/9)
Cowlitz Tribe hosted Donald Trump to discuss his interest in casino (5/9)
Fawn Sharp: Only one candidate knows Indian Country's struggles (5/6)
Gyasi Ross: Voting for the lesser of two evils in this crazy election (5/6)
Suzan Shown Harjo: Delete 'off the reservation' from our discourse (5/4)
Simon Moya-Smith: Donald Trump sees Indian people going 'wild' (5/4)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Native issues are afterthought for candidates (5/4)
Democrat Bernie Sanders staying in race as last Republicans quit (5/4)
Mark Charles: Politicians haven't learned from our genocidal past (5/2)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump win strong showings in New York (04/20)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton battle in New York (04/18)
Backer of Republican Donald Trump described Indians as 'filthy' (04/12)
Democrat Bernie Sanders calls for a nationwide ban on fracking (04/12)
Stephen Fox: Hillary Clinton just isn't the right pick for president (04/11)
Brandon Ecoffey: Let's shake things up with our votes for president (04/06)
Native Sun News: South Dakota Democrats select four Native delegates (04/04)
Julian Cola: The inconvenient truths of Donald Trump's campaign (04/04)
James Giago Davies: The Native vote really matters in this election (04/01)
Mike Myers: Donald Trump advances the destructive agenda of the West (03/29)
Mark Trahant: GOP isn't getting much attention in Indian Country (3/28)
Alex Jacobs: It took generations for Americans to get this stupid (3/28)
Bernie Sanders sweeps 3 states as Native issues stay on agenda (3/28)
Native push for Bernie Sanders fails to translate into more votes (3/24)
Hillary Clinton meets tribes in Washington as 2016 run continues (3/23)
Donald Trump again derides Sen Elizabeth Warren as 'the Indian' (3/22)
Cronkite News: Democrats court Native voters ahead of primary (3/21)
Steve Russell: History repeats itself with Donald Trump campaign (3/21)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders elevates Indian issues in 2016 race (3/18)
Bernie Sanders discusses Indian issues at rally on Navajo Nation (3/18)
Steve Russell: A 'House of Horrors' with President Donald Trump (3/18)
Democrat Bernie Sanders heads to Navajo Nation for town hall (3/17)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump brings bad news to Indian Country (3/17)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to rack up more wins (3/16)
Mark Trahant: More opportunities for Native votes as race drags out (03/09)
Donald Trump racks up 3 more victories as Clinton and Sanders split wins in 2 states (03/09)
Wife of Bernie Sanders slated to visit sacred Apache site in Arizona (3/8)
Hillary Clinton affirms support of 'nationhood' for Native Hawaiians (3/8)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders is paying attention to Indian Country (3/7)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton solidify status as front-runners (03/02)
Mark Trahant: Let's make sure Native votes matter in the election (3/1)
Gyasi Ross appears on Democracy Now! to discuss 2016 election (2/29)
Hillary Clinton wins another state as campaigns head to big vote (2/29)
Mark Trahant: Indian Country needs big ideas from candidates (2/26)
NCAI hears from Bernie Sanders presidential campaign at DC meeting(2/25)
Hillary Clinton campaign releases Indian policy at NCAI winter session (2/24)
Donald Trump secures commanding victory in Nevada GOP vote (2/24)
Steve Russell: Cruzing to disaster with bad federal land policies (2/24)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on inside track (2/23)
Indian voters continue to favor Bernie Sanders as race sizzles (2/22)
Mark Trahant: Federal land battle surfaces in presidential race (2/22)
Jacqueline Keeler: Bernie Sanders outlines Indian policy goals (02/16)
Gyasi Ross: Presidential candidates must earn the Native vote (2/16)
Mark Trahant: Native voters are the true outsiders in any election (02/12)
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders win big in New Hampshire vote (2/10)
Harold Monteau: Democrats stack the deck for only one candidate (02/08)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (02/05)
Bernie Sanders won Democratic precinct on Meskwaki Reservation (02/03)
Mark Trahant: Self-determination should be on the table for presidential campaign (02/03)
James Giago Davies: Only one candidate can help Indian Country (02/03)
Ted Cruz wins GOP caucus as Hillary Clinton claims victory in Iowa (02/02)
Steve Russell: Values make a difference even for our politicians (01/19)
Mark Trahant: A guide to the 2016 elections for Indian Country (01/11)
Gyasi Ross: Be thankful for Donald Trump for exposing racism (12/28)
Steve Russell: Democrats smooth debates for Hillary Clinton (12/21)
Steve Russell: Fear and aggression take center stage for GOP (12/17)
Mark Trahant: The real business of leading in a time of chaos (12/16)
Mark Trahant: The road to the White House is paved with the Native vote (12/14)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin endorses Sen. Marco Rubio for president (11/23)
Steve Russell: Ben Carson and the intrusion on women's rights (11/02)
Republican Jeb Bush wants to move DOI headquarters out West (10/22)
Three presidential candidates make appeals to Indian Country (10/20)
Republican Jeb Bush wants to repeal Indian health care law (10/14)
Five Democratic presidential candidates meet for opening debate (10/13)
Donald Trump doesn't think NFL team's racist mascot should go (10/06)
Republican Jeb Bush defends racist name of Washington NFL team (10/01)
Jeb Bush wants tribes and states to control energy development (09/30)
Hillary Clinton breaks silence and opposes Keystone XL Pipeline (09/23)
Democrats slam GOP candidate for comments about assimilation (09/03)
Donald Trump's campaign manager linked to Abramoff scandal (09/03)
Native Sun News Editorial: Republican attacks on Hillary Clinton (09/02)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump isn't the only crazy one in the race (08/27)
More Headlines