DNC Chair Tom Perez and Native American Caucus Chair Rion Ramirez released the following joint statement on Native American Heritage Month:
“November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to honor the contributions and accomplishments of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in America. Native Americans are a political class of people with reserved and inherent rights reaffirmed in treaties, U.S. Supreme Court cases, executive orders and congressional mandates. We owe it to the first peoples of this continent to honor these treaties and our Constitution, which explicitly recognizes tribal nations and others as the supreme law of the land. This is also a time to remind ourselves that we all must also do our part to ensure our history is told correctly and not repeated. We also take this time to also pause and recognize the tremendous sacrifice of Native Americans who serve our country in the armed forces at the highest rate of any ethnicity.
“As the first people of this Nation, and despite being the last Americans to earn the right to vote, Native Americans turned out in historic proportions this Election Day, helping swing Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin to President-elect Joe Biden. We celebrate the re-election of Native leaders Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland into Congress, and we welcome the second Native Hawiian to be elected since statehood, Kaiali’i Kahele from Hawaii. We now have more Native representation than ever in history.
“President-elect Joe Biden over the course of his career has tirelessly worked to enhance tribal sovereignty and prosperity, and to ensure the United States follows through on the commitments it has made to Indian Country. He knows that Tribal Nations should be empowered to govern Native communities and that the United States must continue to work to meet its solemn trust and treaty obligations.”