Indian Country Today

Prominent figures, tribal leaders, tribal citizens and those who work in Indian Country were quick to celebrate and criticize presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate.

Harris, 55, a California Democrat and former presidential candidate, is a first-term senator and former California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco. She is Black and of East Indian descent.

Here’s what people in Indian Country are saying about Biden and Harris on social media:


Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanangan, White Earth Nation, Democrat

“I know a little something about being second in command. Congratulations to @JoeBiden for picking a great VP! @KamalaHarris is a fantastic partner! #WeHaveHerBack


New Mexico House Representative Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblo, Democrat

“Today our nation made history when Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate. For the first time in our nation's history, we speculated on what woman would be our first Vice President.

“Today on this historic day, we must come together to support this ticket and commit to doing all we can to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! #WeHaveHerBack”


Bryan Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community Tribal Chairman


Kansas House Representative Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, Democrat

“An excellent choice! We all need to be united in defeating Donald Trump this November, and with @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on the ticket, that’s exactly what we’ll do.

“Let’s get to work. 👊”


Colette Routel, co-director and professor of the Indian law program at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

“Her track record opposing fee to trust acquisitions for tribes in CA amd seeking the death penalty against Native people in criminal cases is something she will have to answer for.”


(Related: Kamala Harris’ record in Indian Country dates 10 years)


Tricia Zunker, Ho-Chunk, Wisconsin Democratic candidate for Congress

“Incredible news! I have immense respect and admiration for Senator Harris. She is brilliant, fierce, determined and will fight for what's right. I'm so honored she has endorsed me in this race and I cannot wait to see her as Vice President.”


Johnnie Jae, Native journalist and speaker

“I'm not gonna glorify Kamala, she's been problematic throughout her career. But honestly, I feel a lot better voting for Biden, knowing that there is a fearless Black woman ready to take the helm when his crusty ass inevitably resigns or kicks the bucket. Fingers crossed which I know seems harsh but the dude is trump lite and no matter how hard he tries to hide it, his true colors come shining through and those colors are not pretty lol”


Rion Ramirez, DNC Native American Caucus Chair

“.@KamalaHarris looking forward to working hard to fire up Indian Country and getting out the vote to elect @JoeBiden our next President!

“All I can say is I got your back @KamalaHarris and you are gonna make a great VP!”

@mayaharris_ @JulieR2019 @emmyruiz @KeepHuynhing


Ruth Hopkins, Dakota/Lakota writer

“Sen. Kamala Harris supports Tribes. She participated in our Presidential Forum & has been outspoken on Native issues like #MMIW, the #NativeVote, revoking Keystone XL & Dakota Access Pipeline permits & also the medals awarded for committing the #WoundedKneeMassacre #NoDAPL #NoKXL


Rory Wheeler, Seneca, co-president of the National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission


Clyde Brown, Chippewa Cree

“Kamala Harris’s awful actual record on policy and actions.

True Republicans/Regan Republicans should be happy with Kamala and her policies.

Trump is on the FAR end of the Conservative spectrum and we have no choice but to vote blue. Hopefully moving forward we can have some genuinely progressive candidates to move us all where we need to be.

Kamala Harris has been against tribes in California on gaming, water & jurisdiction issues. She’s no ally of Indians.”


Gyasi Ross, Blackfeet

“She's gonna get trashed for the next couple of months & is far from perfect & has history most have issues with...I get it. This is 2020. No one is gonna be happy.

But do you realize how tough & brilliant & bad a Black woman has to be to get selected as Vice-President?



Rebecca Nagle, Cherokee writer

“.@KamalaHarris is officially Biden's running mate.

The Democratic party would not be where it is today without the work and leadership of Black women. It's about time they were represented on the ticket!

#VPPick #harris #BidenVP #BidenHarris2020”


Former President Barack Obama

“I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.”


Deanna Parisian

“Hope she brushes up on our indigenous history, needs and issues, she's not for us. Just ask California tribes.”


Manilan Houle

“Future VPOTUS @KamalaHarris in a news release last fall said "“Let’s speak truth: we have failed in our obligations to Tribal Nations. We have an opportunity to chart a new course of fully empowering Native American communities"

“She will be a strong advocate for Indian Country!”


Brett Chapman

"Kamala Harris is the first Black woman VPOTUS nominee, but she wouldn’t be the first VP of color. Charles Curtis was the first Native American to serve as VP and was a heartbeat away from living in the very White House where his ancestor White Plume met with POTUS as Kaw leader"


Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis

“Congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris on chosen as Vice Presidential candidate- Biden/Harris ticket! History being made today! This is the most important election in our Country’s history. Indian Country get out and Vote!”


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