Native Americans rarely have a seat at the table when it comes to politics. Having been deemed uneducated savages since the “discovery” of this nation by Europeans, their opinions and representation have not been taken into account by government officials.
Changes have occurred in recent years, with six Native Americans elected to Congress in the 2020 election. According to CBS News, that is the highest number of Native Americans to hold elected office in this nation’s history.
President Joe Biden also appointed a Native American woman, Deb Haaland, to his cabinet as the Secretary of the Interior. The BBC said this is an attempt by the Biden administration to better their relationship with Indigenous tribes.
Secretary of the Interior is a fitting position for Haaland as this is the department that oversees millions of acres of public land, and it also houses the Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to the Secretary of the Interior’s website.
Progress has started, but Native Americans still need to be more involved in the government.
According to the Chickasaw Video Network, Benjamin Franklin looked to the Iroquois Federation as an example of government when creating the framework for the United States.
Native Americans have influenced the U.S. since its inception. We need to do a better job and give recognition where it is due. After all, this was Native land first.
As a country, the U.S. has done nothing but vilify and destroy the culture of Native Americans. Giving them more of a voice in government will allow Indigenous people to advocate for more funding and better treatment of their tribes.
According to AP News, the government has continually failed in providing adequate funding for Native tribes, which has led to increased rates of suicide, domestic violence and alcoholism. And it has caused the education systems on Native American reservations to suffer.
Native Americans deserve to be heard. They deserve to make laws and fight for their rights. The Indigenous culture in the U.S. is full of a rich history made up of language, tradition and sacrifice.
We have controlled the narrative over Native Americans for far too long.
Indigenous people in this country are taking a stand and fighting for a seat at the table.
We need to uplift their voices and give them a chance to tell their own stories.