Published March 4, 2016
LAWRENCE, KANSAS — Two days before Saturday’s Kansas caucus, Democratic party presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders took his campaign to Lawrence, Kansas. There he met for some 20 minutes with tribal leaders from the four federally recognized tribes in Kansas. There are 33 delegates up for grabs in Saturday’s caucus.
This is the second time within one week, Senator Sanders met with American Indian leadership. Earlier this week, he met with Minnesota American Indian leaders.
“The thing to remember about Senator Sanders is he did not simply show up to have his pictures taken with the tribal leaders. He sat down to have a meaningful dialogue,” says Burton Warrington, a Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation tribal citizen.
“I respect him because he is a principled person, who has been fighting for civil rights for decades. Some even call us the first Americans, yet we were not given the right to vote until 1924. I am glad he is reaching out to our people. It is time for us as Natives to exercise our right to vote.”
The tribal leaders and Senator Sanders discussed issues that impact tribes, such as water rights, health issues and climate change.
Senator Sanders has a pretty good grasp on what the needs of Indian Country are according to Warrington.
Also, in attendance in the meeting with the Democratic presidential candidate were Kansas State Representative Ponka We Victors (Ponca/Tohono O’odham) and two Haskell Indian Nations University students.
Student Andi Weber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans) introduced Senator Sanders at the rally.
Sanders flew to Michigan for campaign stops at Traverse City and at Grand Valley State University’s fieldhouse Friday evening.
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