Sanders Highlights Suicide, Sovereignty in Twin Arrows Speech

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a town hall rally Thursday night at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a town hall rally Thursday night at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort.

Published March 18, 2016

FLAGSTAFF – U.S. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders seemed genuinely concerned when he spoke about the high suicide and poverty rates found on Indian Country.

 

“Native Americans have not been heard on many issues that impact their communities,” said Sanders to the 2,000 or so people in attendance. “The existence of negotiated treaties… that coerced millions of acres of Native American homelands to the United States in exchange for guaranteed rights, many of those rights have not been upheld.”

Before Sanders took the stage, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye applauded him for being the first, and so far only, presidential candidate to visit the Navajo Nation in this presidential race.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, left, takes a selfie with a supporter Thursday night after a town hall rally at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, left, takes a selfie with a supporter Thursday night after a town hall rally at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort.

“Across Indian Country, Bernie Sanders does receive a huge support because of his commitment to government-to-government relationship and to maintaining the treaty obligations and trust responsibilities,” Begaye said. “This says a lot about this presidential candidate to come and step on Indian Country.”

Throughout his nearly two-hour speech, Sanders also acknowledged injustices that have befallen Native Americans saying, “It’s important that we lay this out because without the knowledge we cannot go forward.”

“The United States government has a duty to ensure equal opportunities and justice for all of their citizens including our first Americans…Let us be honest we are not doing that today,” said Sanders. “One in four Native Americans are living in poverty, and the second leading cause of death is suicide, this speaks to incredible dispair.”

 

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

The post Sanders Highlights Suicide, Sovereignty in Twin Arrows Speech appeared first on Native News Online.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from Native News Online, and written by Arlyssa Becenti. Read the original article here.