INDIGENOUS RIGHTS & SOVEREIGNTY
I recognize that all of us in the United States live and work on colonized land. South Jersey is part of the Lenape homeland and is still called home by many members of the Nanticoke - Lenni Lenape community (who maintain a tribal headquarters in Bridgeton).
Indigenous people have been subject to genocidal policies implemented by the federal government, including (but certainly not limited to) rape, murder, forced removal from their land, nullification of treaties, theft of property, the “pass system” which long restricted freedom of movement outside reservations, and the kidnapping of children brought to “Indian schools” in an attempt to destroy indigenous languages and cultures. Indigenous people continue to be subject to discrimination and harmful government policies.
While the harm done to indigenous communities cannot be repaired, we must make an effort to make amends as much as possible for the wrongs committed through the years and right up to the present day. If elected I will:
Respect the sovereignty and rights of Native American peoples.
Work with indigenous people to defend their land and resources against privatization, illegal extraction, pipelines, and all other forms of desecration.
Attempt to restore the National Monuments wrongfully reduced in size by the Trump administration (Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante).
Fight for federal recognition of tribes whose sovereignty is not recognized by the federal government, including the Nanticoke - Lenni Lenape Tribe of southern New Jersey, the Powhatan Renape of south-central New Jersey, and the Ramapough Lenape Nation of northern New Jersey.
Support Native Hawaiians in their struggle to win sovereignty from the federal government.
Continue working to slow and eventually stop global climate change, which is already having a disproportionate effect on indigenous communities (especially in Alaska).
Advocate for adequate funding to finance the relocation of indigenous communities (such as the Inupiat village of Shishmaref) that choose to move together to a safer location in the face of sea level rise.
Work with indigenous communities to confront the intersecting social problems adversely affecting their people, including disproportionate rates of diabetes and heart disease, challenging mental health issues, an addiction crisis, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and — at the root of it all — poverty, lack of opportunity, and marginalization.