Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed a brand-new plan to help Native Americans on tribal land, reports HuffPost.
Presumably as a way to deflect from criticism over her checkered past of claiming Native American ancestry, Warren posted a lengthy proposal on Medium Friday morning in which she vowed to fix some of the problems pertaining to tribal nations. She begins her proposal with some Howard Zinn-approved talking points by trashing the United States as being an oppressor against Native Americans.
“The story of America’s mistreatment of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians is a long and painful one, rooted in centuries of discrimination, neglect, greed, and violence,” her post begins. “Tribal Nations robbed of more than a billion acres of land. Resources seized and sacred sites desecrated. Native languages and religions suppressed. Children literally stolen from communities in an effort to eradicate entire cultures. Native history is American history — and we must be honest about our government’s responsibility in perpetuating these injustices for centuries.”
Warren praises Native Americans for making tremendous strides economically while preserving their lost culture. But she insists that corruption based on corporate interests have made situations worse.
“We must end the corruption that empowers giant corporate interests to trample the interests of indigenous peoples,” she writes. “We must end the neglect that allows Congress to chip away at nutrition assistance, health care, education funding, and other programs, many of which are grounded in treaty commitments exchanged for millions of acres of native lands, and that too many Native families rely on to survive.”
Throughout her lengthy post, Warren makes several proposals, from making Native Americans a national concern, to affordable housing, to economic opportunities for tribal people, and to respect for native veterans.
On the issue of tribal sovereignty, Warren attacks both the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Acess Pipeline as violations of tribal lands.
“The Keystone XL pipeline disrespects historical tribal boundaries, violates treaties, and threatens the Ogallala aquifer — but the government continues to pursue extraordinary measures to forge ahead anyway,” she writes. “Thousands of individuals and more than a hundred federally recognized tribes protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline amid concerns that tribal governments were not properly consulted, sacred sites would be desecrated, and a spill would poison clean water relied upon by tribal communities — but the pipeline was built anyway.”
To prevent the “interest of companies” stealing tribal land, Warren proposes to expand federally-protected land important to tribes while respecting historic monuments.
“As President, I’ll expand federally protected land that is important to tribes and protect historic monuments and sacred sites from companies that see it as just another place to drill or mine,” she said. “I will stop giant corporations from stealing tribal resources and threatening tribal lands with ill-advised energy projects. And I’ll make respect for sacred tribal religious interests the law of the land.”
Warren directly making proposals to help Native Americans is a bold move, since it will arouse memories of President Trump’s “Pocahontas” insults about her past claims of Native American heritage — a political handicap that Warren has largely avoided this primary cycle. In fact, the issue only reared itself just a few weeks ago when a potential voter asked Warren to explain herself on having claimed Native American heritage.
“I shouldn’t have done it,” Warren said at the time. “I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe and I’ve apologized for any confusion over tribal sovereignty, tribal citizenship, and any harm caused by that.”
Read her full proposal on Medium here.