your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Democrats make urgent case for Hillary Clinton as president

Filed Under: National | Politics
More on: 2016, barack obama, bernie sanders, brandon stevens, debbie wasserman schulz, democrats, dnc, donald trump, elections, frank lamere, gyasi ross, hillary clinton, meetings, native vote, peggy flanagan, pennsylvania, yvette joseph

Frank LaMere, a member of the Winnebago Tribe, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 27, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

Native activists and Native Democrats mounted urgent defenses of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, warning of disaster should Republican rival Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Even passionate supporters of Bernie Sanders are vowing to help elect Clinton. While some remain upset that their candidate of choice did not secure the party's nomination, they said Indian Country must stand together to defeat a candidate who has a negative record when it comes to tribal matters, whether it's questioning the identity of indigenous peoples, attacking the integrity of the Indian gaming industry or furthering stereotypes about Native women.

"I barely consider myself a Democrat," author and youth advocate Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, said at the final meeting of the Native American Council at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday morning.

"But I understand there is a person in this equation who will hurt my community," Ross said of Trump. "I understand that there is a person who will hurt other brown people and other poor people, because he said he would."

From left, Gyasi Ross, Raina Thiele and Ed Miele at a panel discussion during the Native American Council at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 27, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

Frank LaMere, a member of the Winnebago Tribe, was equally forceful. The longtime Democratic activist is one of three Native citizens in the state of Nebraska's delegation to the convention.

"We need to stand up to this bully," LaMere said in an interview on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday afternoon. "Donald Trump is dangerous to America and probably even more dangerous to Native America."

"It is incumbent that we come away from here and get Hillary Clinton elected," added LaMere, who has attended eight Democratic conventions.

Despite the strong warnings, Native Democrats acknowledged they are facing an uphill battle as they try to rally Indian Country to turn out to the polls this year. While Clinton, a former Secretary of State and a former U.S. Senator from New York, won endorsements from elected tribal leaders, Native voters often went with Sanders, the Senator from Vermont.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the permanent chair of the Democratic National Convention, oversees the nomination of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) as vice president on July 27, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

In Washington, nearly every prominent tribal leader backed Clinton ahead of the state's primary in March, yet Sanders easily won the vote. In South Dakota, Native voters overwhelmingly supported Sanders even though their elected officials endorsed Clinton.

Yvette Joseph, a member of the Colville Tribes, said she is trying to get Sanders supporters on her reservation in Washington to join Clinton's camp. She fears many of them won't register or turn out for the election without a well-organized get out the vote operation in Indian Country.

"I'm arguing with tribal members back home because they are very unhappy about the outcome of the Bernie or Hillary [primary race]," said Joseph, who is a delegate for the state of Washington. "We're trying to convince them -- If you go in and support a Green Party candidate, you're not going to get us to victory."

If not enough Native voters support Clinton, "we're going to be defeated -- terribly so," said Joseph, who's attended five Democratic conventions.

President Barack Obama embraces Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 27, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

The concerns are real as Sanders supporters feel bothered by what they see as mistreatment of their favored candidate by the party's leadership. Brandon Stevens, a council member for the Oneida Nation, said Democratic National Committee emails that were released by hackers explain why some Native voters remain wary of Clinton.

Some of the messages show party officials, who are otherwise supposed to remain neutral, making negative statements about Sanders. Their contents forced the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) as chair of the DNC, whose leaders offered an apology to Sanders.

"It was weighted against Bernie," Stevens, a pledged Sanders delegate for the state of Wisconsin, said of the Democratic primary process.

But beyond procedural issues, Stevens said Native voters embraced Sanders for substantive reasons. He said Sanders paid far more attention to Indian Country than Clinton, who is due to accept the party's nomination at the conclusion of the convention on Thursday evening.

"It's a tell-tale sign," Stevens said in an interview at the Wells Fargo Center. "She's not coming out to meet us," he said of Clinton.

Despite dissension in the ranks, Native delegates and other Native attendees at the DNC remain strongly supportive of President Barack Obama. In her policy platform, Clinton has vowed to continue his agenda by ensuring tribal nations remain at the table.

"I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love," Obama said in a well-received speech at the convention on Wednesday night.

"That’s the America I know. And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to it; a mother and grandmother who’d do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American – the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton," he said to loud applause. Clinton joined him on the stage after the speech.

The final day of the convention will include remarks by Minnesota State Rep. Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Nation. She is expected to speak around 4:50pm Eastern.

Related Stories:
Indian Country shares spotlight at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Recap: Native American Council at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Indian Country makes presence known at Democratic convention (7/26)
Native American Council meets at Democratic National Convention (07/25)
Dwaine Perry: Ramapough Lunaape Nation marches for justice (07/25)
Tribes in Connecticut sponsor cruise for Republican delegates (07/21)
Lobbyist Holly Cook Macarro raises big sums for Hillary Clinton (07/20)
Democrats embrace tribal sovereignty in platform for convention (07/08)
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation slams Donald Trump for 'bigoted' attacks (07/07)
Hillary Clinton envisions women making up half of Cabinet posts (07/04)
Five tribes donate over $500K for Democratic party's convention (06/30)
Donald Trump fares poorly against Hillary Clinton in national poll (06/27)
Native voters split support as Hillary Clinton claims Democratic win (06/08)
Tribal leaders in Great Plains welcome Hillary Clinton's experience (06/03)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (05/24)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
Mohegan Tribe announces plan for $80M casino convention center (3/21)
North Dakota Republican keeps pushing bill for non-Indian casinos (3/21)
Supreme Court nominee fares well in review of Indian law record (3/20)
Dakota Access won't reveal latest status of pipeline to the public (3/20)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sees another Dakota Access setback (3/20)
Hopi Tribe and Native activists lose cases over aging power plant (3/20)
Supreme Court considers petition in tribal land-into-trust dispute (3/20)
Oneida Nation prevails as Supreme Court declines immunity case (3/20)
Tim Giago: Indian Health Service fails to abide by treaty obligation (3/20)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe battles uranium mining (3/20)
Mary Annette Pember: It's sugar bush time across Ojibwe country (3/20)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.