If elected, I will support:
- Putting an end to construction of the Keystone and Bakkan pipelines, recognizing Native tribes’ sovereignty over their territory.
- Giving back dominant control of the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Sioux (Lakota/Dakota/Nakota) Nation. The Black Hills, deemed sacred to those nations, were guaranteed by treaty in 1868 and should be returned as promised.
- Passage of the Savanna Act, a bill that is long-overdue. This piece of legislation is named after Savanna Greywind, a pregnant 22-year-old member of the Spirit Lake Nation who was viciously murdered in 2017. Native and indigenous women have been abducted and murdered at frighteningly high rates for far too long, with law enforcement failing to do much about it. The Savanna Act will mandate that the U.S. begin compiling and publishing statistics connected to the disappearance or murder of Native American women. Additionally, it would enhance access to the U.S. federal crime information databases for sovereign tribal governments and their tribal law enforcement agencies, while providing other resources needed to make a difference in terms of this appalling issue.
- Full enactment of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which would assist with the problems related to Savanna’s Act and also mirror the unsettling levels of unaddressed abuse in some Native American communities.
- Advancement of Native lands’ justice systems; mainly due to chronic underfunding, these systems currently make it onerous to enforce prosecution of non-natives accused of major crimes.
- Protection of tribal sovereignty. Tribal nations have significant needs for education, infrastructure and economic development that are acutely underfunded and under-resourced.
- Efforts by tribal nations to rehabilitate their heritage and communities.
- Protection of Native American religious freedoms.
- Reconsidering treaties that have limited Native Tribes’ capability to make judgements about their own lands. Many of these choices are economic and represent decisions that should be made only by Native nations themselves.
- Continuing tribal nation summits held annually in Washington, DC, with the full backing of important cabinet agencies. The goals would include discussing and getting feedback on concerns relating to planned federal activities which may impact tribal nations.
- Rescinding the Medals of Honor given for Valor in Battle to the soldiers who decimated Native Americans at Wounded Knee.
Things didn’t have to be this way. Not only for Native Americans but for white Europeans as well, it must be said that one of the most significant tragedies of American history is that we denied ourselves the exceptional cultural and intangible possibilities of what a partnership could have been. If a true partnership blueprint instead of the dominator paradigm had been selected hundreds of years ago, our cultures would both be flourishing today. With an increased historical understanding and gradual cultural awakening, our country is now prepared to mend old wounds and set the stage for a brighter future. I will work tirelessly to make this a reality and together we can write a new chapter of our American story.