Vice President Kamala Harris has stated that the US “must not shy away” from the “shameful past” of how the primary European explorers “ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations.”
Harris made the feedback Tuesday to the National Congress of American Indians, saying it was “an honor” to deal with them “as we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” the newly acknowledged identify for Columbus Day.
“Since 1934, every October the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americans,” she stated.
“But that’s not the entire story. That has by no means been the entire story.
“Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for Tribal nations — perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease,” she stated.
“We must not shy away from this shameful past, and we must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on native communities today,” she stated.
“Native Americans are more likely to live in poverty, to be unemployed, and often struggle to get quality health care and to find affordable housing,” she instructed the group, the most important US group for native peoples.
“This persistent inequity, this persistent injustice, is not proper. And the pandemic has solely made it worse,’ she added.
“I believe strongly that we now have a chance to change things, to improve things — to be better,” she claimed.
As such, the Biden administration would renegotiate a memo of understanding about federal funding for job coaching on tribal lands with tribal nations, she stated.
The memo was renegotiated in 2018 between 12 federal companies however with out enter from the tribal nations affected.
Biden additionally signed an government order designed to assist Native American communities with instructional and financial alternatives.
Harris additionally claimed that the president’s Build Back Better agenda could have “a significant impact on Indian Country.”
“I believe strongly that we right now have a chance to change things, to improve things, to be better for this generation and for the seven generations to come,” she stated, referring to a Native American perception that we must always make selections now based mostly on how they are going to affect the longer term seven generations.
Biden this yr turned the primary president to formally acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day.