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People First Indigenous Communities Policy
The strength of our nation has always been our capacity to learn from our failures and work together towards a better future. For generations, Indigenous communities have been treated as second-class citizens rather than sovereign tribal nations free to determine their destiny. The federal government has repeatedly failed to honor treaty obligations, respect unique government-to-government relationships, and allowed corporations to exploit sacred land for their own profits.
This history has contributed to greater disparity, greater injustice, and in some cases, intolerable conditions in Indigenous communities.
Native families are more likely to live in poverty, and often lack access to quality health care, affordable and safe housing, education, Internet access, and economic opportunity. Indigenous women are more likely to experience violence, and more likely to never receive justice. Additionally, extractive industries reap the benefits of Indigenous land often without permission, while these communities disproportionately feel the effects of a changing climate.
As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, I visited and worked with Indigenous communities and tribal nations across the country, hearing directly from native peoples about their experiences and challenges they face. These conversations were some of the most impactful of my entire career. At the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I visited a home with 13 members all sharing an extremely crowded two-bedroom house. Despite the most difficult of circumstances, this family and native community were resilient, and remained determined to make progress in partnership with the federal government.
Indigenous people have been continually subject to cruelty and neglect at the hands of the federal government. They deserve a president who will strengthen tribal sovereignty, honor treaty commitments, ensure justice for Indigenous women, and advance tribal-federal partnerships for progress.
As president, I will partner with Indigenous communities for a fairer and more prosperous future.
My People First Indigenous Communities platform lays out a blueprint for ensuring all native people and communities can thrive in the years ahead.
Strengthening Tribal Sovereignty
Honoring Treaty Commitments
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution classifies treaties as the “supreme law of the land.” The federal government has not only a moral responsibility to fulfill treaty commitments, but a constitutional obligation. In a Castro Administration, we will honor these treaty commitments.