On Tuesday, VP Harris denounced the European explorers who first landed in North America while arguing the Build Back Better agenda will impact “Indian Country” during a virtual address at the National Congress of American Indians 78th Anual Convention.
“Since 1934, every October, the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americas,” said Harris told the gathering held the day after Columbus Day. “But that is not the whole story. That has never been the whole story.”
“Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for Tribal nations — perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease,” she continued. “We must not shy away from this shameful past, and we must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on Native communities today.”
Harris claimed that Biden’s Build Back Better agenda would have “a significant impact on Indian Country” but did not offer any specific evidence to support this claim.
After citing statistics of missing Native American women and girls and claiming the Native Americans are denied voting rights, harris informed the delegates, “Native Americans are more likely to live in poverty, to be unemployed, and often struggle to get quality healthcare and to find affordable housing.”
“This persistent inequity, this persistent injustice is not right. And the pandemic has only made it worse,” Harris added.
Harris claimed many Native Americans’ problems would be tackled in Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.
“This bill represents the largest infrastructure investment our nation has made since before World War II and presents, right now, an important opportunity to strengthen Indian Country,” she said.
This year, the White House issued twin proclamations, greeting both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day.