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Tribal Official: Biden Repairing Trump’s Damage to Tribes

Not that anyone should be surprised that Governor Kristi Noem would disrespect American Indians, but we should remember that in endorsing Donald Trump again for President, Governor Noem is endorsing complete antipathy toward the tribes. Tribal Council member Amber Torres of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Nevada recounts the Trumpist contempt for American Indians that Noem emulates:

During the Trump administration, I saw firsthand how fast the doors of access were closed to tribes. He unleashed an era where Native people endured a constant assault on our spiritual health and wellness. Trump failed to reconvene the White House Tribal Nations Summit, an annual meeting that provides the administration and Tribal leaders with time to discuss ways to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships through federal investment and ensure that progress in Indian Country will endure for future generations.

In addition to that failure, meaningful Tribal consultation was nearly nonexistent, and without these vital meetings, detrimental projects were approved near our tribal communities. For example, Trump immediately reduced the Bears Ears National Monument, home to thousands of sacred sites, by 85 percent, and his administration approved the advancement of the border wall that led to the destruction of Tohono O’odham Nation’s cultural and burial sites.

Trump drained funds from the very programs created to fulfill the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribes. Year after year, tribal leaders had to fight against his proposals to cut funding for Native education and health programs. It is crucial to remember that he submitted budget requests to Congress every year that could have zeroed out funding for Bureau of Indian Education facilities and the only existing CDC Tribal budget item.

At times, Trump was outright transparent about his thoughts and feelings about the Native peoples. When asked about issuing a proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, he outright proclaimed, “Not as long as I’m president.” He appalled the nation when he could not even hold back expressing his racism during a White House event planned in honor of our national heroes, the Navajo Code Talkers [Amber Torres, “Trump’s Tribal Record: The Destructive Era,” Native News Online, 2023.08.22].

Before anyone runs a both-sidesist critique, Torres reminds us that President Joe Biden has worked hard to repair the damage Trump did to American Indian status and sovereignty:

President Biden reconvened the White House Tribal Nations Summit and issued the Memorandum on Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation to every executive department and agency head. Tribes have seen progress for our communities because we have a seat and voice at the table.

Bidenomics includes Indian Country with historic levels of funding specifically for Tribal communities and Native people, including $32 billion in the American Rescue Plan, $13 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and $700 million in the Inflation Reduction Act.

President Biden became the first president to accomplish many positive firsts for tribal communities, including issuing a proclamation to designate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, appointing Native Americans, including Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) as secretary of the Interior and Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba (Mohegan Tribe) as the Treasurer of the United States, and securing advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service.

Dignity and humility are two valued qualities in Native cultures. Importantly, these are two qualities that President Biden exemplifies, and this has had a positive impact on revitalizing tribal relations. He cares about people and their wellbeing, which is why he has dedicated resources and has supported Tribal courts in exercising special criminal jurisdiction to address the missing and murdered Indigenous peoples crisis [Torres, 2023.08.22].

President Biden, says Torres, has demonstrated genuine respect for American Indians, for their tribal sovereignty and their economic well-being. Trump and Noem and his other toadies have “hearts full of xenophobia and lies.”


  1. P. Aitch 2023-09-13 06:56

    JOE BIDEN ~ “Leading with Heart, Inspiring the Change!”

  2. larry kurtz 2023-09-13 07:50

    If attempted genocide isn’t grounds for disqualification from holding federal office, what is?

  3. John 2023-09-13 09:23

    Democrats must realize that the alternative to Biden is an extremely nasty infught broken into factions: ethnicities, genders, urban-rural, etc., et al.
    Biden is the only option. Democrats and independents must come to grips with the democratic parties flaw that put an octogenarian on the ballot.
    As Blumenthal details, Biden will only receive credit for his many significant accomplishments via a rear view mirror.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-09-13 09:51

    OK, John. Then let’s review Joe (Steady) Biden’s term, so far.

    Lowering Costs of Families’ Everyday Expenses

    More People Are Working Than at Any Point in American History

    Making More Products in America

    Rescued the Economy and Changed the Course of the Pandemic

    Rebuilding our Infrastructure

    Historic Expansion of Benefits and Services for Toxic Exposed Veterans

    The First Meaningful Gun Violence Reduction Legislation in 30 Years

    Protected Marriage for LGBTQI+ and Interracial Couples

    Historic Confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and Federal Judges of Diverse Backgrounds

    Rallied the World to Support Ukraine in Response to Putin’s Aggression

    Strengthened Alliances and Partnerships to Deliver for the American People

    Successful Counterterrorism Missions Against the Leaders of Al Qaeda and ISIS

    Executive Orders Protecting Reproductive Rights

    Historic Student Debt Relief for Middle- and Working-Class Families

    Ending our Failed Approach to Marijuana

    Advancing Equity and Racial Justice, Including Historic Criminal Justice Reform

    Delivering on the Most Aggressive Climate and Environmental Justice Agenda in American History

    More People with Health Insurance Than Ever Before

  5. leslie 2023-09-13 09:52

    Good article, Amber Torres, Cory!! And;

    as John linked in the Guardian:

    “His defeats and missteps, slights and belittlement, have accumulated on to the years of committee chairmanships, a lifetime in the Senate like no other president since Lyndon Johnson and the whole range of being vice-president involved in every major decision of the executive during the Obama administration.”

    IMO: We likely must reelect Biden secure in the judgement Kamala Harris is backstop. Their values are true and evolving. Works for me.

    And Biden’s staff:

    “In the Senate, Biden surrounded himself with the most talented staff. He was not that insecure. As president, at the head of a vast government, his cabinet is an array of highly effective people. There has not been a single major scandal among them after the most corrupt administration in American history. The paradox of Biden’s poll numbers among Democrats is that there is no complaint about how he runs the government.”

  6. P. Aitch 2023-09-13 09:53

    PS, John – A rearview mirror is the only way to view any accomplishments. The windshield shows us what we’re tackling next.

  7. Jake Kammerer 2023-09-13 10:07

    Thanks, P. Aitch-for that “outline” of positive results for “we the American people!” Amazing tho, the outright lies and fantasy corruption the Republican GOP party is mouthing in their ever-present defense of their scum-bag exPotus!

  8. Nick Nemec 2023-09-13 10:35

    Trump hates Indians because they can run a successful casino, meanwhile every casino he has owned has had to file for bankruptcy.
    Noem hates Indians because during the pandemic SD tribes were checking who was coming on the reservation. She sued them and lost. She doesn’t understand tribal sovereignty.

  9. All Mammal 2023-09-13 10:58

    President Biden did so much in his first 3 hours on the job that I am personally grateful for in addition to P’s list. John’s right; hell if I can accurately recall the exact details of what they were. Also, Leslie points out our infallible bedrock VP, our insurance policy attached with our vote for Papa Joe. Madam Vice President is a G and her accomplishments, like our president’s, choke me up with pride.

    Let us save our experimental votes until we get out of the Trump danger. I wish Marianne Williamson and Cornell West patiently hung tight on their candidacies and rallied behind the Biden/Harris ticket.

  10. LCJ 2023-09-13 18:58

    60% of Dems think Joe is too old to run 73% of all Americans. Time take grandpa’s keys away before more innocent people get hurt.

  11. larry kurtz 2023-09-13 19:09

    100% of Dems believe the entire Republican presidential field doesn’t give one sh!t about anything but greed.

  12. LCJ 2023-09-14 06:23

    Oh, look at Hunter and Joe’s greed.
    Looks like impeachment for Joe and jail for the big guy. Worst president ever.

  13. jerry 2023-09-14 06:57

    LCJ, lay off the hard stuff man. Your arse is showing more and more.

  14. LCJ 2023-09-14 11:24

    This is fun. I post poll results from CNN and you cry.

  15. jerry 2023-09-14 11:31

    Early for you LCJ to be in the bag….yikes

  16. Donald Pay 2023-09-14 16:01

    I’m not sure about those poll numbers. I will vote for Biden, and I think he’s too old to run. Trump is too old, too autocratic and fascist and too mentally ill to run. Biden may be older than Trump by a few years, but he ain’t nuts and he ain’t the second coming of Hitler.

  17. LCJ 2023-09-14 17:42

    Joe will never see Election Day
    Not Kami either

  18. larry kurtz 2023-09-14 17:51

    Honestly? I’m terrified the GOP will assassinate our POTUS and VPOTUS then install the Republican Speaker of the House who would name Herr Trump his Veep then step down.

  19. Dicta 2023-09-14 17:56

    To have “age and incoherence” be your critique of Biden but ignore the same in Trump is lunacy. Put both of the old goats out to pasture.

  20. grudznick 2023-09-14 19:57

    My friend Mr. Pay is righter than right, except grudznick won’t vote for Biden or Trump. I want somebody different. Really different, ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo.

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