PRESS RELEASE: First Presidential Candidate Platform to Include Urban Indians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, 202-932-6615, mraimondi@ncuih.org

Biden campaign announces plan to continue support of tribal rights and sovereignty, extend protections to urban Indians

Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2020) – On October 8, Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice-President Joe Biden, with running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, announced a Tribal policy plan that will build on efforts made by the Obama administration, “which were instrumental in rebuilding trust, good faith and respect for the tribal-federal relationship.” This is, the first plan from any US Presidential Candidate to prioritize resources for the over 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives that live in cities.

“The United States of America was founded on the notion of equality for all,” the 15-page document starts. “We've always strived to meet that ideal, but never fully lived up to it. Throughout our history, this promise has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial.”   “This is an historic day for urban Indians,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), CEO of NCUIH. “There has never been a plan like this that included American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban areas. I'm glad presidential candidates are finally listening to us and I hope that all potential candidates take the trusty and treaty obligation seriously and include a platform dedicated to Indian Country."

From the plan: Meeting obligations to urban Native Americans. According to the 2010 Census, over half of Native Americans live off reservation. Biden will ensure that we don’t leave anyone behind by creating a strategy to support our country’s urban Indian populations, ensure that their voices are heard by the federal government, and to fight invisibility of urban Indians across the country. That means ensuring that urban Native American populations have the support they need to access quality health care, culturally relevant education, adequate and affordable housing, and other needed resources. This includes ensuring that Urban Indian Organizations receive 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for Medicaid, just as IHS tribal providers already receive.”

Other important points from the policy plan for Indian Country include:

  • Tackle the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
  • Provide reliable, affordable healthcare.
  • Invest in Native students.
  • Ensure Tribal nations will have a strong voice and role in federal government.
  • Immediately reinstate and make permanent the White House Council on Native American Affairs and the Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
  • Make Tribal self-governance and sovereignty cornerstones of federal policy.
  • Restore Tribal lands and safeguard natural and cultural resources.
  • Tackle climate change and pollution
  • Expand economic and community development in Indian Country
  • Fight for Native voting rights.

For more information on the Biden policy plan for Indian Country, click here.

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About the National Council of Urban Indian Health The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is the national organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban settings. NCUIH envisions a nation where comprehensive, culturally competent personal and public health services are available and accessible to AI/ANs living in urban communities throughout the United States.  NCUIH is the only organization that represents all 41 Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) federally funded by the Indian Health Service.

By NCUIH, posted on Tuesday October 13, 2020
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