The Tribal Council Members of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the largest band in the state of Minnesota, today announced their endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders for President. The Council represents 19,000 members of the White Earth Band and is made up of Chairman Michael Fairbanks, Secretary Treasurer Alan Roy, Ray Auginaush, Sr. (District 1), Kathy Goodwin (District 2), Eugene 'Umsy' Tibbetts (District 3).
"We are fighting everyday for our sovereignty,” said the Council in a statement. “Right now, the oil pipeline Line 3 and the fossil fuel industry have wreaked havoc on our clean water and wild rice supply. Bernie Sanders has stood with us for decades. He was on the front lines in the fight against DAPL and has been a key ally in the fight to oppose Line 3. He is the only candidate we trust to fight side-by-side with us for the rights of our water, our land, and our sovereignty."
The Tribal Council Members of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe are part of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribes (MCT) Council, a governing body of eleven Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) tribes in Minnesota.
“Time and time again, the federal government has broken sacred promises to our Native American brothers and sisters, and given corrupt corporations a free pass to put profits ahead of the sovereign rights of Native communities,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “The time is long overdue for the Native American people to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I am honored to stand with the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and all Native Americans in the struggle to protect their treaty and sovereign rights, defend their traditions, and improve the quality of life for their communities.”
Senator Sanders’ record of standing with Native American communities is clear. Sen. Sanders opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline and was the first member of Congress to stand publicly in solidarity with protestors at Standing Rock. As president, Sen. Sanders will shut down the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines and stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built, including Line 3.
When he is in the White House, Senator Sanders will enact a Green New Deal, which will undo environmental damage in Indian country, as well as provide jobs and rebuild the local economies of those communities. It will directly invest a historic $16.3 trillion public investment to transform our energy system to 100 percent renewable energy, create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis, and ensure justice for indigenous peoples. The plan is similar in scope to the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII, but with an explicit choice to include indigenous communities who were systematically excluded in the past.
Senator Sanders will ensure tribes and Native Americans benefit from the Green New Deal by ensuring the federal government abides by treaties and respects tribal sovereignty while upholding the trust responsibility in every step of this plan. Tribes will be eligible for all funding available through the Green New Deal. Tribes will also be able to request technical assistance from agencies carrying out the Green New Deal to co-manage resources and review federal government actions through the consultation and consent process.
As president, Senator Sanders will abide by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ensure the free, prior and informed consent by Indigenous Peoples.