Sen. McCain: Supporting tribal sovereignty
Ed. Note: The following article is essentially a rewrite of the Native American policy that Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) released earlier this month.

"Over the years, I have received the support and friendship of many people from Indian country, and I am firmly committed to ensuring that they are treated justly and fairly. I continue to believe very strongly that the federal government has a special ethical and legal responsibility to help make the American dream accessible to American Indians. As president, I will continue to work in close consultation with the tribes in order to build on my record of achieving results for Indian country. I believe in protecting tribal sovereignty and I recognize the unique government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes and the trust responsibility.

As former chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and a current member of the committee, I have consistently sponsored legislation and enacted laws that have helped improve conditions on Indian reservations and have strengthened the ability of tribal governments to provide essential programs and services.

Tribal self-governance is incredibly important to Indian country and, over the course of my 25 years in Congress, I have worked hard to take power out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats and to place it in the hands of tribal governments. As president, my dedication to tribal self-determination will reinvigorate the policy of tribal self-governance. I have also worked tirelessly to strengthen law enforcement on reservations, including improving tribal courts and detention facilities. In authoring the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Protection Act, I was an early leader in addressing victims' rights, family violence and child abuse.

I have worked consistently to improve health care for Indians, including reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, championing efforts to combat diabetes, and supporting efforts to address chronic mental health and substance abuse problems on reservations. I have also fought for greater autonomy with regard to health care, advocating for permanent self-governance authority for the IHS to enable Indian tribes to directly administer tribal health facilities and programs. Furthermore, I authored legislation to designate an Assistant Secretary for Indian Health to prioritize and simplify health services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

Get the Story:
Sen. John McCain: Building relationships, achieving results (Indian Country Today 4/4)

Relevant Documents:
John McCain on Native American Policy (March 2008)

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