If elected, I will be excited to have conversations with Snoqualmie Tribe leaders and members, so that I can work toward your specific priorities and interests – rather than assume I know what they are. I want to be your advocate in Olympia, and that requires comprehensive conversations about the needs of the Tribe and how the Legislature can meet them. I also recognize that there are clear disparities in outcomes for Native Americans and Tribal communities in our state today. I believe we must empower and strengthen these communities by addressing historic inequities and existing systemic racism in our government, working to support Tribes after centuries of exploitation by investing in services like healthcare and education.
Additionally, I would like to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. Indigenous women experience violence at an unconscionable rate. 56% of them have experienced sexual violence. We need to advocate for them. The vast majority of sexual abuse of native women is perpetrated by non-tribal members. One clear step is that we need to empower tribal courts to be able to hold non-tribal members accountable. We also need to ensure Washington’s law enforcement agencies are not detrimental, and instead coordinate with tribal communities as requested. We need to advocate for indigenous women so that these crimes are reported accurately, that they are prosecuted seriously, and that there are resources in place for survivors 2% of whom attempt suicide.