One in four Native Americans is living in poverty and the high school graduation rate is 67%, the lowest of any racial group. The second leading cause of death for Native Americans between the ages of 15–24 is suicide. One in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime; most of the offenders are non-Native. Most federal programs for tribal nations are underfunded, which has led to inadequate housing, healthcare, education, and law enforcement. We must do far more to support Native Americans than we have in the past.
In Congress, I will fight for the following policies to support Native Americans:
- Sovereign control over Native lands. Tribes must have the ability to prosecute non-Native people who commit crimes on tribal land.
- Federal, nationwide ban on new or expanded fossil fuel facilities and the right of tribes to reject pipelines on their land.
- Expansion of community health centers on reservations
- Protection of the Indian Child Welfare Act
- Increased local control over the administration and operation of tribal housing programs and full funding of the Indian Housing Block Grant Program.
- Full funding of the Bureau of Indian Education
- Sovereign control of sacred places
- Funding for high-speed internet and phone access
- Funding for clean water, so tribal nations can build more homes and expand their business opportunities
- Funding for tribes to move schools and homes out of tsunami zones