Where are the Dems on tribes?
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AUGUST 16, 2000

Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and even Native Hawaiians make an appearance in the 2000 Democratic party platform.

"The Democratic Party proudly upholds its tradition of support for the first Americans," begins the platform. "The Democratic Party pledges to continue our work to make a difference in the lives of those who occupied this land before us."

As part of the party's three-pronged "P" platform of prosperity, progress, and peace, Native Americans fall into the progress category. Along with fighting for civil rights and welcoming new immigrants, the party relies on a foundation of sovereignty and government-to-government relationships in its approach to tribes.

Like the Republicans, the Democrats also address the trust relationship and the economic well-being of Indian Country. President Clinton on Monday said his party has helped bring businesses and jobs to reservations.

But the Democrats go a step further in recognizing the self-determination rights of Native Hawaiians. "We affirm the legal and political relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians as an important step in the continuing process of reconciliation," states the platform.

The party pledges to pass legislation designed at fulfilling America's promise to Native Hawaiians. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) has introduced a bill to address the legal relationship between the government and Native Hawaiians.

A series of protest marches this summer -- one in Boston and one in Washington, DC -- have helped raise awareness of the history of Hawaii and the struggle for Hawaiian sovereignty. Part of that history includes an apology made by the government one hundred years after the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani's monarchy in 1893.

Get the Native Platform:
The 2000 Democratic Platform on Tribes (The Talking Circle 8/16)

Relevant Links:
The Democratic National Convention -
The Democratic National Committee -
Al Gore 2000 -

Related Stories:
Clinton says goodbye to nation (The Talking Circle 8/15)
Convention welcomes Natives (The Talking Circle 8/15)
Protesters hit convention, Gore (The Talking Circle 8/15)
Convention highlights contrasts (The Talking Circle 8/14)
Chairwoman to speak at convention (The Talking Circle 8/11)
Where is the GOP on tribes? (The Talking Circle 8/1)
The GOP 2000 Platform on Native Americans (The Talking Circle 8/1)
Group challenges Hawaii (Tribal Law 07/07)
Hawaiians march for sovereignty (The Talking Circle 07/05)
Sovereignty protests aim to educate (The Talking Circle 07/03)