Honoring and Empowering Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples

“Washington owes Native communities a fighting chance to build stronger communities and a brighter future.” – Elizabeth Warren

Download the Honoring and Empowering Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples one-pager


Washington is failing Native communities. According to reports from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the federal government has chronically failed to provide the resources necessary to fulfill its promises to Native Americans.

It’s appalling — but to Native and indigenous peoples, it’s not surprising. The story of America’s mistreatment of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians is a long and painful one, rooted in centuries of discrimination, neglect, greed, and violence.

Elizabeth is committed to helping write a new story and fulfilling our country’s moral and legal obligations to Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples.


Elizabeth has released a suite of policy priorities for honoring and empowering Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples.

She also has a far-reaching legislative proposal with U.S. Representative Deb Haaland to directly address critical unmet obligations to Indian Country identified by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Tribal governments, citizens, experts, and other stakeholders have had the opportunity to offer input and suggestions before the bill’s design and introduction in Congress.

As president, Elizabeth will work shoulder to shoulder with Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples to…

  • Elevate Tribal priorities to the highest levels of the federal government by creating a permanent, cabinet-level White House Council on Native American Affairs, a new White House Budgetary Office of Tribal Affairs, and more.
  • Invest in housing, infrastructure, health care, economic opportunity, and education in Indian Country.
  • Ensure that Native people have full and equal access to American democracy, including passing the Native American Voting Rights Act to shut down discriminatory practices, and making voting convenient and secure.
  • Pass a new Sacred Lands Religious Freedom Restoration Act so Tribes will have more power to protect Tribal Lands and sacred sites.
  • Respect Tribal sovereignty and revoke the ill-advised and improperly granted permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. That includes — except for extraordinary cases — rejecting new projects, developments, or federal decisions that would significantly affect a tribal community, their lands, resources, members, or religious practices unless the Tribal Nation concerned has given their free, prior, and informed consent.
  • Recognize the inherent jurisdiction of tribes to prosecute non-Native defendants for committing crimes on tribal land, while providing them with enough funding to provide robust legal systems that deliver justice for victims and due process to criminal defendants. Elizabeth is the first presidential candidate to call for this proposal, as a fix to the Supreme Court’s decision in Oliphant v. Suquamish.
  • A full “Oliphant Fix” is a crucial step towards addressing the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. A Warren administration will also launch an unprecedented initiative to tackle this crisis.
  • Ensure access to high-speed internet on Native American lands, including by investing billions of dollars specifically for Tribal Nations to expand broadband access.

To get all this done and more, the federal government must recognize its Nation-to-Nation relationship with Tribal Nations and work alongside indigenous peoples to ensure that Native voices are heard and their rights are respected. With real commitment, and with real structural change, the United States can honor its promises and empower Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples.


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