As someone who represents 11 Native American tribes, I have been on the frontlines of trying to ensure that the federal government lives up to its commitments and addresses centuries of unfair treatment. Along those lines, I worked with the US Commission on Civil Rights to advance the Broken Promises Report, detailing the federal government’s systemic failures in meeting the needs of tribal communities – and outlining a roadmap to address them. The next step is to follow that roadmap and address those inequities.
There’s much more work to be done, which is why I will continue to work closely and partner with our tribal communities. I have sponsored a number of bills that would actively protect and advance the interests of Native American tribes on issues pertaining to criminal justice, health care, education, housing, economic development, and natural resources, and I will continue to work hard to pass those bills into law. In this Congress alone, I’ve sponsored over 20 bills related to tribal issues, including the Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide Act (HR 5850), the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act (HR 5319), the Native American Voting Rights Act of 2019 (HR 1694), the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act (HR 1937), PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act (HR 1931), and Savanna’s Act (HR 2733) to help address the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls
Additionally, in this midst of this pandemic, I’ve called on the federal government to provide Native American tribes with the support they need. That’s why I am sponsored the Tribal Health Care Protection Fund Act (HR 6836), which would provide tribes with critical health care resources, and the COVID-19 DISASTER in Indian Country Act (HR 6819), which would grant Indian tribes emergency special temporary authority of available spectrum on tribal lands so they can deploy broadband networks on tribal lands.
Finally, as a member of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee on Appropriations, I’m in a key role to try to address some of the funding issues facing tribal communities.