Pete for America
For Immediate Release
October 14, 2019
Contact: Chris Meagher

Pete for America Announces Plan to Promote Autonomy and Justice for Tribal Nations

SOUTH BEND, IN — Today, Pete Buttigieg released his plan to promote the rights of Tribal Nations and Native peoples to self-govern and remove barriers that prevent them from achieving economic success. Buttigieg’s comprehensive plan for indigenous communities covers issues related to criminal justice, education, climate and natural resources, voting rights, and health care.

“The United States’ relationship with other sovereign nations should be guided by robust, meaningful, and respectful diplomacy,” said Buttigieg. “Our interactions with Tribal Nations should be no different. It is time for the federal government to reset its relationships and interactions with these nations.We have to acknowledge the shameful failures in our relationship with Tribal Nations and recommit our energies towards active diplomacy as the best way to heal and move forward to a thriving and healthy future together.”

In order to tackle the urgent challenges facing Native communities, Pete will:
  • Appoint a commission dedicated to studying the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women within Pete’s first 100 days in office. This commission will be tasked with collecting data and analyzing trends in violence against Native women and developing recommendations for his administration to comprehensively address the issue.
  • Diversify the federal judicial bench by appointing Native American nominees. Pete will strive to appoint judges who show a commitment to tribal sovereignty and will ensure that tribal courts are adequately resourced and work to increase cooperation between federal prosecutors and Tribal Nations.
  • Restore federal protection to the Bears Ears National Monument and prevent further energy development and mining on other sacred places.
  • Ensure that the Indian Health Service is fully funded through mandatory appropriations. It is time to move IHS funding from discretionary to mandatory status so critical resources cannot be jeopardized by government shutdowns and other political dysfunction.
  • Tackle the crisis of mental illness and addiction with a $10 billion Healing and Belonging grant program to encourage communities, including Native communities, to leverage their ingenuity and on-the-ground expertise to help improve health and well-being
  • Create an $80 billion Internet for All initiative to ensure full high speed broadband coverage across the United States, especially in Indian Country and close the Tribal School Broadband Gap, since approximately 60,000 K-12 Native students lack adequate broadband at school.
  • Invest up to $5 billion over the next decade to create a national network of apprenticeships and ensure that the program is available within 30 miles of every American.
  • Launch the Office of Native Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget to ensure proper expertise in administration-wide efforts to uphold treaty obligations and ensure those obligations are fully funded.
  • Recognize the authority of Indian tribes to tax activities on their lands in support of tribal self-sufficiency and government services. Today, self-sufficiency is often preempted by state and local tax intrusion on tribal lands.
  • Restore the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, host the first-ever tribal state dinner, and regularly host regional convenings with tribal leaders.
  • Protect voting rights on tribal lands by introducing automatic voter registration, increasing the number of polling places and ensuring that they are accessible, allowing early voting and vote-by-mail, and declaring Election Day a national holiday.
  • Sign an Executive Order requiring all federal agencies to consider treaty rights when developing actions that affect access to natural resources, and to develop guidance detailing implementation.

For too long, the U.S. government has failed to consider not only the future of Indian Country, but the present. Under a Buttigieg administration, Tribal Nations will have a partner in the federal government. Pete will ensure that our Native communities can grow and thrive for generations to come.

Read his full plan HERE.