Washington, D.C. – August 19, 2020 – The 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) kicked off yesterday virtually, officially gaveling in on their annual nominating confab of presumptive presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden leading up to the national elections on November 3, 2020. Although the presentation is this new normal, a virtual presentation drew attention to the democratic platform as presented in their four-full days of discussions and caucuses, including the Native American Caucus.
Yesterday, Indian Country, the first virtual DNC Native American Caucus, with a full list, which included Native American leaders and some of today's Indian Country youth Warriors. The caucus entitled "For Our Future: Environmental Justice and Empowering Native Youth.
DNC Native American Caucus hosted by Rion Ramirez, chair of the Democratic National Committee's Native American Council, a member of the DNC's Executive Committee and National Finance Committee, with speakers including Rep. Deb Haaland, (Laguna Pueblo); Rep. Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation); Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (White Earth Band of Ojibwe); Ambassador Keith Harper (Cherokee Nation); Theresa Sheldon (Tulalip Tribes); Avery Underwood (Comanche Nation); Sam Lopez (Tohono O'odham); Jaldyn Probst (Lower Sioux Indian Community); Chairman Ned Norris (Tohono O'odham Nation); Chairman Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community); Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen., Cory Booker, and Rep. Rueben Gallego, among others.
The Empowering Native Youth panel, moderated by Paulette Jordan, a 2020 candidate for United States Senate in Idaho, discussed the importance of youth engagement in the 2020 elections. Sam Lopez, Avery Underwood, and Jalydn Proust, all youth advocates, joined Jordan in the discussions.
The Environmental Justice panel brought together Ambassador Keith Harper, former Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault, Bay Mills Indian Community Chairman Bryan Newland, and Kimberly Williams.
National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., commended the speakers. He said, "I've had the honor of being part of both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in person over the years. This new normal has presented a different format, but I can certainly see how we can benefit from utilizing this virtual platform." Stevens added, "It is empowering to watch these outstanding Indian Country representatives come together with their party to discuss the importance of not only the welfare of our tribal communities but the impact of our Native youth vote in the 2020 National elections."
National Indian Gaming Association, a non-partisan organization, working on behalf of tribal governments and their tribal gaming and legislative interests in Washington, D.C., has always supported both the DNC and the Republican National Conventions and their caucuses.