Looking back on the unprecedented events, hardships, challenges and losses we’ve navigated this year, certainly everyone would agree that 2020 has been a roller coaster experience none of us asked for or wanted.
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.
“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.
Despite all of the rhetoric on Capitol Hill about enhancing tribal law and order, deterring violence against our women, and bringing our missing and murdered relatives home, nobody expresses concern about the dehumanization associated with disenrollment.
By helping small businesses through tough times with forgivable loans, offering tax credits in Opportunity Zones to lift up distressed communities, and investing in our infrastructure, we can get America back to work and rebuild our economy.
“I believe that Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation would have dangerous implications for Indian Country,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Countless hours of tribal official and grassroots advocacy for missing and murdered Indigenous women and their families paid off when Congress gave final approval to Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s (NM-01) Not Invisible Act and Congresswoman Norma Torres’ (CA-35) Savanna’s Act. The two bills work to address the missing and murdered indigenous women’s crisis.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) introduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy Act, a bill that seeks healing for stolen Native children and their communities.
Students at Bureau of Indian Education operated schools started classes without adequate technology, sometimes sharing a single computer among siblings, because the agency disbursed funding late and failed to purchase equipment in time.
Republicans are rushing to confirm a federal judge with virtually no experience in Indian law to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to give Donald Trump and their party a win ahead of the hotly contested election.