U.S. House of RepresentativesWA District 1
Rep. DelBene has a BA from Reed College and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington. She has more than two decades of experience as a technology entrepreneur and business leader in the private sector, having worked for Microsoft. First elected U.S. Representative in 2012, she currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. She also serves on the Select Revenue Measures, Trade, and Oversight Subcommittees. In the 116th Congress, she was appointed to the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.
Responses to Tribe's Questions
To read about this candidate’s responses to the Snoqualmie Tribe’s questions, click through each question below.
Q1: What do you know about the Snoqualmie Tribe?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Tribe for many years during my time in Congress. Many of the tribal members live in the First Congressional District, in North Bend, Fall City, Carnation and even as far as Monroe. The Snoqualmie are one of many tribes making up the larger group of Coast Salish peoples and the Falls are at the heart of the tribe’s spiritual traditions. I’ve had the honor of visiting the Falls with Council Members and learning more about the traditions and history of the community.
Q2: What is your experience working with Tribes?
Since being elected in 2012, I’ve had the privilege of representing Washington’s First District tribes: the Lummi Nation, Nooksack, Sauk Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Upper Skagit Indian Tribes, along with many other tribes in the surrounding area including the Snoqualmie. I consistently meet with the tribes in our region, both in Washington DC and in the district and it has been an honor to be welcomed into our tribal communities. I have greatly enjoyed engaging with leaders and community members and learning about the issues most important to them.
Q3: What does the ideal government-to-government relationship with tribes look like to you?
I believe the federal government and Tribal governments should have a relationship built on trust and collaboration. It is important that the federal government respect Tribes’ sovereignty while ensuring equitable access to federal benefits and programs that state and local governments have access to without barriers. For example, I stepped in to expedite a fishery disaster declaration for a tribe in my district as a result of the negative effects of climate change. Additionally, in the 113th Congress, I introduced the Indian Country Economic Revitalization Act (H.R. 4699) to identify the barriers and develop solutions towards achieving long-term economic prosperity in Indian Country. In the 115th Congress I helped pass the Tribal Social Security Fairness Act (H.R 6124). I am also a cosponsor of legislation to reverse the Carcieri Supreme Court decision, which restores the status quo prior to the decision and clarifies the Secretary’s authority to place land into trust for all tribes — regardless of the date of their federal recognition. This legislation passed the House of Representatives in May of 2019.
Q4: If elected, what would your Indian Country-related goals be?
I will continue being committed to working with our tribes to help them prosper by crafting long-term strategies to identify the hurdles tribal economies face and lay out a clear roadmap to help overcome them.
Q5: What is your knowledge of tribal treaties and trust obligations?
The United States looks the way it does today largely because Tribal nations ceded millions of acres of land, and in return, Tribal nations were guaranteed self-governance on their own land resulting in treaties and laws known as the federal “trust responsibility.” I support and respect tribal self-governance and tribal jurisdiction, and take very seriously the trust responsibility that the federal government has to protect tribal treaty rights.
Q6: Do you support increasing funding to tribes for services such as health care, cultural resources, and education?
Q7: What do you know about free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC)? If elected, would you advocate for these principles to be included in legislation and policy?
FPIC is an internationally-recognized right that allows indigenous people to give or withhold consent on projects that affect their land. FPIC is recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I think it is important for tribes to be part of the conversation when discussing potential projects on their land.
Q8: What protections do you believe Tribal cultural resources and sacred sites should have?
I believe it is imperative to protect tribal cultural heritage to aid in the healing process for Native American communities’ disproportionate cultural oppression.
Q9: What do you believe is the best role of government in the fee to trust process for tribes to gain jurisdiction over their traditional lands?
Tribes should not have to provide evidence on their 1934 status in order to apply for land to be put into trust. This is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 375, which restores the status quo prior to the decision and clarifies the Secretary’s authority to place land into trust for all tribes — regardless of the date of their federal recognition. This legislation passed the House of Representatives in May of 2019.
Q10: What do you know about the Snoqualmie Tribe's sacred site, Snoqualmie Falls? Do you support the Tribe's right to have a say in any future decisions made on its sacred site, including hydropower licensing?
I’ve had the honor of visiting the Snoqualmie Falls with former Chairwoman Lubenau and other members of the Council, to gain a better understanding of why the land is sacred to the Snoqualmie Tribe. I was pleased to hear that the Snoqualmie Tribe purchased the Salish Lodge and Spa and the 45-acre land surrounding the Snoqualmie falls and is able to protect this sacred site.
Beeler was born in California and moved to Washington when he was 13. He lives in Sultan and served on their City Council. He has also served on the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board as the representative for cities in Snohomish County.