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This Native American Heritage Month reminds us that the upcoming 2020 election is one the most important elections of our lifetimes. The man in the Oval Office is a threat to the safety and well-being of all Native peoples. He openly disrespects our Native Veterans, willfully ignores the federal trust and treaty responsibility to Tribal Nations, and mocks the Wounded Knee massacre on Twitter.

We need a leader who is not afraid to stand up for our communities. We need someone who knows how to fight, knows how to win – and will be a champion for Indian Country the minute she steps into the White House. Donald Trump is no match for a woman with a plan – and that’s why I am proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren for President in 2020.

As I’ve gotten to know Elizabeth over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that we have a lot in common. We both come from humble beginnings and have found success through hard work and perseverance. We both were single moms, and we understand what it means to live paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to make ends meet.

Last year, Elizabeth supported me when I ran to become one of the first Native American women elected to Congress. Since then, she and I have introduced legislation together to establish Universal Child Care and Pre-K and provide safe housing for our military families. We’ve spoken often about the needs in Indian Country, and are collaborating on a bill to ensure that the federal government fulfills its trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.

I’ve seen her engage with tribal leaders and Native youth. I’ve seen how she listens to their concerns and asks questions that lead to insights and solutions. She has the experience, persistence, and the heart to win. An Elizabeth Warren presidency would bring big structural change to our government and who it works for, along with compassion and inclusivity. That means a government that empowers working families, students, people of color, LGBTQ communities, teachers, Veterans, Native Americans, and everyone who has been sidelined by the current administration.

Elizabeth’s conversations with Native leaders deeply informed her comprehensive plan to protect tribal sovereignty and advance tribal self-determination. As President, she will invest in Indian Country by expanding access to broadband and affordable housing. She will end our dependence on fossil fuels and ensure Tribal Nations have the legal tools to properly protect their lands from unwanted drilling, extraction and the pollution that comes with it. She is committed to addressing the health care provider shortage in Indian Country and filling the hundreds of vacant provider positions in the Indian Health Service.

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Through our history, Indian tribes have faced violence, genocide and loss of land and resources. Elizabeth Warren recognizes the painful history of America’s mistreatment of Native peoples and the federal government’s responsibility in perpetuating these injustices. She understands that the US government has a responsibility to fulfill the trust and treaty obligations– and that our government owes every Native family a fighting chance at a better life.

I hope my Native brothers and sisters will join me in the fight to elect Elizabeth. I wholeheartedly believe that she will champion the issues that will ensure that our communities can effectively continue the legacy that was put forth by our ancestors.

Elizabeth Warren is my dear friend, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with her during Native American Heritage Month, and every month, in the fight to restore our government in 2020.

Representative Deb Haaland serves New Mexico’s First Congressional District and is one of the first Native American women serving in Congress. As a 35th generation New Mexican, single-mom, and organizer Haaland knows the struggles of New Mexico families, but she also knows how resilient and strong New Mexico communities are. In Congress she’s a force fighting climate change and for renewable energy jobs as Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, a powerful supporter of military personnel, families, and veterans on the House Armed Services Committee, and continues to advocate for dignity, respect, and equality for all.

Related coverage: 

Representative Haaland and Senator Warren: The federal government has a responsibility to write a new chapter in the story of its government-to-government relationship with tribal nations

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