Tribal leaders and advocates uniting behind Joe Biden

Pictured: Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA).(Image: Biden for President)

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Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations praised

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Biden for President

Tribal leaders, stakeholders and advocates are uniting to join the broad coalition behind Joe Biden, speaking out and encouraging Native Americans to join the growing movement to elect Joe and Kamala Harris this November. In op-eds and articles, the leaders and stakeholders praise the Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations, and Joe Biden’s commitment to make far-reaching investments to build back better across Indian Country in health care, education, economic opportunities and community development.

The leaders also highlight the Biden-Harris commitment to upholding the U.S.’s trust and responsibility to tribal nations, and strengthening the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the United States and Indian tribes.

See below for coverage excerpts:

Indian Country Today: Jefferson Keel: Electing Joe Biden stops Donald Trump's termination policies
[Jefferson Keel]

Vice President Biden is a proven leader with exceptional grace and diplomacy. He has shown through his decades of public service a respect and commitment to tribal sovereignty. As the original author of the Violence Against Women Act, he has worked tirelessly to protect Native women from harm and abuse. He is a spiritual man who truly understands and respects the service of Native veterans, and will never disparage them in any way.

I know Joe Biden personally and am confident he will be a strong voice for Indian Country.

He will uphold and advance the trust responsibility of the United States to tribal nations. A Biden Administration will return us to the days of tribal nations being welcomed to meet with the President and cabinet secretaries regularly to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship together. We need Joe Biden to help lead us through these divisions and ensure that Native people not only have a seat at the table but also have a voice in the decision-making process.

Two different paths are available on November 3. I am choosing to stand with Joe Biden in the most important election of my lifetime. Tribes can’t endure four more years of Trump.

Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw, is a three-term president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Indian Country Today: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the clear choice for Indian Country
[Senator Tom Udall and Representative Ruben Gallego]

A Biden-Harris Administration will be a partner for tribes, expanding economic opportunity and growing jobs in Native communities. A Biden-Harris administration will work tirelessly to invest in Native schools, in safe, affordable housing, and in tribal small businesses. Put simply, a Biden-Harris administration will empower Native communities to build back better, stronger and even more resilient.

The choice could not be more clear. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote to continue the pattern of disrespect and disregard for Native Americans. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote to empower tribes to exercise their inherent rights, chart a course for prosperity in their communities, and hold the federal government accountable to its trust and treaty obligations.

Indian Country Today: Under Donald Trump, more broken promises to Indian Country
[Arizona State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai]

As President, I know Joe Biden will build on the progress made under the Obama-Biden administration to promote tribal self-determination and strengthen meaningful government-to-government consultation with tribes. And I trust Joe to listen to and center Native American voices in the process.

This election, the stakes for Indian Country are higher than ever -- and the choice could not be more clear. It’s time to reject Donald Trump’s record of broken promises once and for all, and elect new leadership that will fulfill the United States’ federal trust and treaty obligations to Indian Country. That leader is Joe Biden.

Jamescita Peshlakai is a Democratic member of the Arizona State Senate representing LD7, the largest state legislative district in Arizona and the United States. Senator Peshlakai is a member of the Navajo Nation, and a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, who served in the US Army for 8 years.

Navajo Times: Letters: We need a real naat’áanii
[John Watts]

In the book “Navajo Nation Peacemaking,” former Navajo Nation Chief Justice Robert Yazzie describes the complex role and characteristics of naat’áanii, leaders in Diné culture. Diné people have traditionally relied on naat’áanii.

According to Yazzie, naat’áanii are strong leaders chosen for their wisdom, integrity, good character, and respect. Does President Trump possess the qualities of a naat’áanii?

  • Wisdom — Republican Trump predicted the COVID-19 pandemic would “disappear like a miracle.” Five months and 165,000 deaths later, he still insisted the pandemic would just “disappear.” This is not wisdom; it is ignorance.
  • Integrity — Republican Trump has told the American people over 19,000 lies.
  • Character — Republican Trump has abused the office of the presidency to enrich himself and his family.
  • Respect — Republican Trump has lost the respect of most Americans because of his racist statements that have driven us apart instead of bringing us together.
  • Now Trump’s attacking the Post Office and threatening every post office on the Diné Nation. The post office is the hub of our town of Teec Nos Pos. I pick up my prescription medicine at the post office and receive my weekly newspaper and letters at the post office.

I send my grandchildren cards and gifts through our little post office. I often run into neighbors and friends at the post office and I vote at the post office.

Why is Trump attacking our post offices? In a fraudulent attempt to get re-elected by suppressing our vote? Is that the action of a naat’áanii? Does it show good character? Integrity? Respect for our reservation communities?

Trump is not a naat’áanii!

America needs a real naat’áanii. I am voting for Joe Biden, a naat’áanii with the wisdom, integrity, character, and respect to lead us to a better day.

Navajo Times: Trumpian vision doesn’t include Indigenous people; vote for one that does
[Ethel Branch]

Monday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day and while it was so incredible to see all the outpouring of love, celebration, and joy from my fellow Indigenous peoples and Americans in general, there was one conspicuous holdout: the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Not only did he not celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, he issued a formal presidential proclamation the Friday prior designating our special day as Columbus Day and painting supporters of Indigenous’ Peoples Day as “radical activists” seeking to “undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy.”

He also accused those who support and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day as individuals “who spread hate and division.”

These types of accusations are poorly placed. Indeed, the reverse is true.

The Mashpee Enterprise: Mr. Biden, Mr. Cromwell Address US Tribal Issues
[Ryan Spencer]

For the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the outcome of the presidential election is tied closely to the tribe’s sovereignty over 321 acres of reservation land, which the administration of President Donald J. Trump has fought to disestablish.

“This administration acted out of control against my tribe,” Mr. Cromwell said of the Trump administration. “I really want to urge everyone to get out and vote — you must vote — you soon will have a new President of the United States: President Biden.”

The Trump administration has taken a combative approach as the tribe has fought on multiple fronts to protect its reservation lands.

Biden Harris 2020 logo
(Image: Biden Harris)

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