Senator Warren cosponsors resolution recognizing November 2019 as Native American Heritage Month
Office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) yesterday released the following statement as she once again cosponsored a resolution to recognize November as Native American Heritage Month, a time for celebrating the heritages and cultures of Native Americans and the contributions of Native Americans to the United States.
“I am deeply proud to work shoulder to shoulder with, learn from, and represent the federally recognized tribal nations of my home state — the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe — and all Native people in Massachusetts,” said Senator Warren. “As we begin Native American Heritage Month, we lift up and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of Native peoples throughout the Commonwealth and across the United States. But this month is also an important opportunity to recognize that Washington must do far more to fulfill its obligations to tribal nations and indigenous peoples.”
The resolution was introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Senator Warren was also a cosponsor of the 2018 Native American Heritage Month resolution.
During her time in the Senate, Senator Warren has worked to protect and advance tribal sovereignty, to emphasize the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations, and to affirm Washington’s government-to-government relationship with tribal nations:
- She is working with Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), one of the first Native women elected to Congress, on the Honoring Promises to Native Nations Act, legislation that will address chronic underfunding and barriers to sovereignty in Indian Country and hold the federal government accountable for honoring America’s legal promises to Native peoples.
- She has supported efforts to address violence in Indian Country, especially against women and girls. When the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was last reauthorized in 2013, she joined the call to ensure the law contained new safeguards for Native abuse victims. She cosponsored that reauthorization, which recognized tribal sovereignty in crucial new ways. She has also been a leader in calling for better data and reporting to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, including in urban areas.
- Senator Warren twice introduced a bipartisan bill to give tribal nations a seat at the table in addressing the elevated suicide rates in their communities.
- Senator Warren worked with Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and introduced the American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, legislation that would amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to help provide tribal nations with resources to combat child abuse and neglect.
- The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, her major legislation with late-Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings, to address the nationwide crisis of opioid addiction and substance use disorders, has robust tribal provisions that would provide funding and resources directly to tribal nations and tribal organizations and mandate tribal consultation.
- Senator Warren worked hard to ensure that her bipartisan cannabis legislation, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, would protect cannabis laws and policies that tribal nations adopted for themselves.
- Senator Warren’s major housing legislation, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, would provide a significant increase in funding for Indian Housing Block Grants and restore the ability of tribal housing authorities to administer Housing Choice Vouchers. The National American Indian Housing Council passed a resolution supporting the bill.
- She has twice partnered with Senator Udall to introduce the Native American Voting Rights Act, landmark legislation to provide the necessary resources and oversight to ensure Native people have equal access to the electoral process.
- Senator Warren’s Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act, introduced with Congresswoman Haaland, would provide millions of families in Indian Country with free, high-quality child care and early learning options. The legislation allows tribal governments to be local administrators of the universal child care and pre-K program.