Indigenous leaders endorse Secretary Castro ahead of Native American Presidential Forum
Julián Castro for President 2020
Prominent Indigenous leaders including two state lawmakers endorsed presidential candidate Julián Castro, the first 2020 candidate to release a comprehensive plan to honor and strengthen Native American communities, on Tuesday ahead of his appearance at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa.
The leaders endorsing Secretary Castro include:
- Christina Blackcloud, Vice Chair of the Native American Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party, Meskwaki Nation
- South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn Foster of Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota and Dine’e
- Arizona State Representative Arlando Teller, Dinè
- Jennifer K. Falcon, Indigenous Environmental Network, Citizen of the Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux Tribal Nation
“I am honored by the support of these leaders and vow from the first day of my administration to work with them to honor our nation’s commitment to Indigenous communities,” Secretary Castro said. “We must learn from our failures and work toward a better future. We must end the disparity, injustice and intolerable conditions in some Indigenous communities and work to honor treaty obligations, respect the relationship between governments, and stop corporations from exploiting sacred lands for their own profit.”
“I am endorsing Secretary Castro because of his commitment to tribal Indigenous people and to all people. It was not a surprise to me that Secretary Castro was the first candidate to share a detailed Indigenous platform.” -- Christina Blackcloud, Vice Chair of the Native American Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
“Secretary Castro is an unwavering leader raised by a strong woman in a family that has been fighting for civil rights longer than Donald Trump has been trying to tear them apart. I trust Secretary Castro to continue this fight for all Americans of all backgrounds as he has throughout his career.” -- State Senator Red Dawn Foster, South Dakota (D-27)
“Naat’áanii is the Navajo word for leader. And a leader advocates, promotes, protects and uplifts his community. Julián Castro is the Naat’áanii for the United States of America. I sincerely support and endorse Secretary Castro to be our Naat’áanii.” -- Arizona State Representative Arlando Teller
“By centering the voices of vulnerable communities, Secretary Castro has provided the leadership needed to heal our country from the last four years. Secretary Castro was the first to propose an Indigenous Peoples platform giving our issues a voice on the national stage while also proposing humane policies for historically oppressed relatives seeking refuge by crossing the border.” -- Jennifer K. Falcon, Indigenous Environmental Network, Citizen of the Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux Tribal Nation
Secretary Castro proposed his “People First Indigenous Communities” policy in July, unveiling his “historic” and “first of its kind" platform that “addresses nearly every major political and legal issue facing Indigenous people.” He will speak at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum, the first focused on the concerns of Native Americans.
About Secretary Julián Castro
Julián Castro served as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017. Before that, he was Mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas — the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city at the time.
In 2012, he gave a rousing keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, during which he described the American Dream as a relay to be passed from generation to generation. In 2018, Castro founded Opportunity First, an organization to invest in the next generation of progressive leaders. In October 2018, Little, Brown published Castro’s memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream. On January 12, 2019, Secretary Castro announced his candidacy for President of the United States.