Gyasi Ross: Only one candidate pays attention to Indian Country

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waves to supporters during a town hall on the Navajo Nation on March 17, 2016. Photo from Navajo Nation OPVP Russell Begaye And Jonathan Nez / Facebook

Gyasi Ross, the editor at large for Indian Country Today, wonders why more tribal leaders aren't endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over rival Hillary Clinton:
See, Hillary Clinton STILL has not shown one bit of investment into Indian Country (other than a conference call that probably cost two dollars)—no outreach people to Indian Country, no ads committed to Native people, no visits to Indian Country.


On the other hand, Bernie Sanders has shown a considerable willingness to invest in our communities. From hiring a Native strategist (Nicole Willis—former Obama appointee, OG from the first Obama Campaign in 2008), to creating a platform that not only respects tribal sovereignty but also understands that Native people likewise have many of the same everyday struggles as the rest of America, Bernie is the one who is putting in the work in our communities.

And speaking of “our communities,” he’s actually coming to our communities. Clinton—like most mainstream presidential candidates throughout history—not only doesn’t mention Native communities or spend money on our communities, she sure as heck ain’t going to them. Bernie is. He’s been to the Meskwaki territories in Iowa (called the “Meskwaki Settlement”), to Navajo Territories (where he held a town hall). Furthermore, Mrs. Jane Sanders visited the Oak Flat “to discuss the occupation by the Stronghold.” Deborah Parker, Tulalip, calls this outreach, “Another great step for U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in honoring and recognizing Native Americans.” Based upon that outreach to Native communities, many, many tribal leaders have endorsed Bernie Sanders, including Navajo President Russell Begaye.

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: The Only Presidential Candidate That Makes Indian Country a Priority: Native People Feeling the Bern (Indian Country Today 3/18)

Another Opinion:
Willow Tomeo: Bernie Sanders Would Respect Native Rights (Indian Country Today 3/19)

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