Just days after their boss bashed Indigenous Peoples Day, members of the Donald Trump administration tried their best to portray the president as someone who cares about the interests of America’s “first” inhabitants.
The fate of the Indian health care system is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court in a case where not even the Trump administration is defending the trust and treaty responsibility to tribes and their citizens.
The Supreme Court said the Census Bureau can stop its count of the population, a blow to tribal leaders and local advocates for underrepresented communities who said they would be hit hardest by an undercount.
“As president, I’ll make tribal sovereignty and upholding our federal trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations the cornerstone of federal Indian policy,” Democratic candidate Joe Biden said on Indigenous Peoples Day.
Joe Biden: “Native Americans have always honored their deep connection to the land and kept faith with the rich spiritual traditions and heritage of their ancestors, often in the face of policies and violence that sought to strip them of both.”
“This legislation addresses a tragic issue in Indian Country and will help to establish better law enforcement practices,” said Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
“Everyone in this country deserves to feel safe in their communities, but a long history of violence against native people has led to the disappearance and murder of Native Americans at alarming rates,” said Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico).
“Indigenous people have faced and rose above insurmountable challenges,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) as she highlighted the issues at stake with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020, NDN Collective will be launching the highly anticipated LANDBACK Campaign, a multi-pronged effort to dismantle white supremacy and achieve justice for Indigenous people.
“As the first people of this country, we have to let our voices be heard at the highest levels of government,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez after meeting with the Democratic presidential ticket.
Amid growing uncertainty due to COVID-19, the U.S. Supreme Court opened its latest term as Republicans remain intent on confirming a conservative judge with virtually no experience in Indian law to the nation’s highest judicial body.