Announcement from Pete at 8:30 pm EST
Pete will be delivering remarks from South Bend, Indiana at 8:30 pm EST. We will be live streaming the event here and at peteforamerica.com/live. Thank you.Posted by Pete Buttigieg on Sunday, March 1, 2020
Warren announced a detailed Indian policy platform back in August, promising to uphold the federal government's trust and treaty obligations as president. But she continues to face questions about her commitment despite counting Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico), one of the first two Native women in Congress, as one of her high-profile supporters. The doubts center on Warren's assertion of being "part Native American" on her mother's side of the family. Though she has openly admitted none of her ancestors will be found on any tribal rolls, and genealogists haven't found any such heritage, citizens of the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians believe she has caused "real harm" to their communities with her "false claims to American Indian identity," which she later attempted to bolster with a DNA test that drew scorn from a Cherokee Nation official who now serves as the tribe's chief. "Stating you do not qualify for citizenship is not enough; the truth is you and your ancestors are white," a open letter signed by nearly 150 Cherokee citizens and joined by more than 70 allies from other Indian nations stated. Warren, who participated in both Native American presidential forums, acknowledged as much in a 12-page response to the open letter. She said she identifies as "white" and that she continues to talk about her family history as "an explanation, not a defense" of her ancestry claims. "I am very sorry to have played any role in contributing to the invisibility of Native peoples," Warren added, addressing a point raised in the open letter, which also cited the steps she has taken in the Senate and as a presidential candidate to advance Indian issues.
But Warren's reaction doesn't appear to be changing any Cherokee minds. The organizers of the letter, including genealogist Twila Barnes, professor Joseph M. Pierce, scholar Daniel Heath Justice and award-winning journalist Rebecca Nagle, have called the response inadequate because they believe it fails to address the underlying critique. "She's holding onto a story that not only has zero basis in reality, but is based White supremacy and Indigenous erasure," Nagle, who recently won American Mosiac Journalism Prize for her coverage of a major tribal sovereignty case, wrote on social media. Of the candidates still in the race, Klobuchar also has released an Indian Country platform. In it, she vows to ensure tribes are consulted on issues that affect them, to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and invest in infrastructure in tribal communities, among other pledges. "Senator Klobuchar has long advocated for the Violence Against Women’s Act Reauthorization and is a strong supporter of Savanna’s Act to address violence against Native American people, particularly women and children," the candidate's policy reads. "She authored and introduced the Tribal Adoption Parity Act to bring parity to tribal government for the adoption tax credit and she has introduced bills that would expand broadband deployment and adoption in consultation with tribal governments." Bloomberg, who led New York City for three terms, has a comprehensive Indian policy as well. He outlines a number of proposals, many of them focusing on improving economic, educational and social conditions among the first Americans. “Mike Bloomberg’s plan to uphold tribal sovereignty and improve the lives of Native Americans is achievable and long overdue, Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation said in support of a platform released last Thursday. "He will reaffirm Indian Country land rights, upgrade our infrastructure and combat environmental injustice. He’ll elevate tribal authority and protect Native American women and girls. He will fully fund the Indian Health Services and will enhance economic and educational opportunities for tribal members." Despite his current pledges, Bloomberg was a major player in efforts to diminish tribal economies by going after tobacco businesses that operate on Indian lands. After filing a lawsuit against Indian smoke shops, he called on the governor of New York to take a harsh stance toward such retailers by forcing them to pay taxes to the state. "You know, get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun," Bloomberg said on a radio show in August 2010. "If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying, you know, 'Read my lips: The law of the land is this and we're going to enforce the law.'" Bloomberg later won an injunction against retailers on the Poospatuck Reservation, which is home to the Unkechaug Indian Nation, whose sovereign rights are recognized in state law. But that didn't stop him from sending undercover agents to the reservation, even though it lies outside New York City limits. The Super Tuesday primaries include California, Minnesota and Oklahoma, all states with significant Indian Country populations. A huge chunk of delegates are up for grabs, representing 34 percent of pledged delegates, according to Ballotpedia, a non-partisan encyclopedia of American politics and elections.
For folks who didn't read @ewarren's entire 12 page response to 200 Cherokee citizens and Native allies asking for her to retract her unfounded family story of Cherokee heritage yesterday, here is a break down of what it contained: pic.twitter.com/loNsfMFlvY— Rebecca Nagle (@rebeccanagle) February 27, 2020