RNC features Navajo leader, Columbus Day resolution

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer, left, speaks at the Washington, D.C., Navajo Nation office (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today)

Kolby KickingWoman

Tribe's vice president, Myron Lizer, among 17 people set to speak on Day 2 of convention  #NativeVote20

Kolby KickingWoman
Indian Country Today

Last week, the Navajo Nation’s president made a prime-time appearance at the Democratic National Convention.

This week, the tribe’s No. 2 in command, Vice President Myron Lizer, is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention.

Lizer is among 17 people set to give remarks Tuesday, although the time and other details of his appearance have not been released. Inquiries to the Navajo Nation communications director went unreturned.

This year’s scaled-back RNC kicked off Monday with 336 delegates gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina — six from each state, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories.

Besides formally awarding President Donald Trump the Republican nomination, delegates approved a handful of resolutions, including one that seeks to preserve Columbus Day as a national holiday.

In recent years, cities and states across the country have passed motions declaring the day Indigenous People’s Day.

The resolution states that “men and women who have made historically significant, positive contributions to humanity are universally complex figures,” and encourages the continued public education and celebration of Columbus.

“The RNC affirms the need to take a strong position in support of our founding ideals, and in solidarity against anti-Italian and anti-Catholic prejudice, by defending Columbus Day as a federal holiday and urging all Republican candidates to do the same,” the resolution says.

While his official acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention isn’t until Thursday evening from the White House South Lawn, Trump made a surprise trip and gave remarks to delegates in Charlotte on Monday afternoon.

The president touted his record during his three-plus years since taking office, ranging from the number of judges appointed to being tough on China to railing against mail-in ballots.

Trump also took a shot at Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Democratic Party as a whole for “screwing over” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the second consecutive election.

He referred to Warren as “Pochahontas” and accused her of shifting the contest in Biden’s favor after dropping out of the race following Super Tuesday back in March.

Monday evening’s speakers at the convention don’t present a whole lot of prospects for Indian Country to be discussed, but things look different Tuesday, when Lizer is set to speak.

(Related: It's now Donald Trump and the Republicans' turn)

Lizer has met with Trump a few times over the course of his presidency.

The Navajo Nation vice president and his wife, Dottie, were among a group of people in the Oval Office in November 2019 when the president signed an executive order establishing a task force on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Lizer also attended a Trump event hosted by Students for Trump in Phoenix in June and was a part of the group of tribal leaders who met with Trump during a May trip to a mask factory in the same city.

Other RNC speakers Tuesday include Nick Sandmann, the former Covington Catholic High School student who gained national attention for his interaction with Nathan Phillips, Omaha, at the Lincoln Memorial last year.

Indigenous people were prominently featured during last week’s Democratic National Convention, with multiple appearances in the nationwide roll call and a prime-time speech from U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblo. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez appeared with several other Democrats in a virtual keynote address.

Indian Country Today will update this story with any information that becomes available regarding the speaking time and ways to watch Vice President Lizer’s speech.

Stay tuned to indiancountrytoday.com for continued coverage of the Republican National Convention.

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Kolby KickingWoman, Blackfeet/A'aniih is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is from the great state of Montana and currently reports for the Washington Bureau. For hot sports takes and too many Lakers tweets, follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com

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