Friday, September 19, 2008
Obama Gets Strong Endorsements from NM Tribes
Everybody's coming on board. Today, the Obama campaign announced that the All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC), Mescalero Apache Tribe and Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley endorsed Barack Obama for President.
“The numerous issues facing Indian tribes require the attention of a President who genuinely respects sovereignty and self determination,” said Governor Michael J. Chavarria, Chair of the 8 Northern Pueblos. “The northern pueblos have moved to endorse the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. Our endorsement is given knowing that Indian issues will have prominence in an Obama Administration.”
“Native America needs leadership that will regard tribal sovereignty as important and Barack Obama is that leadership. His record shows his commitment to education, health, and advancing the wage earning power of families who struggle,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly. “We need Barack Obama in the White House, to work with Congress, and make improvements that will put us closer to self-sufficiency while strengthening our tribal sovereignty.”
“For eight years, we have lived with Federal policies that erode our culture and language and, therefore, attack our very identity as Native people,” said President Shirley. “It is time for change: a real change! It is time for the United States of America to truly honor its obligations to its Native peoples. Senator Obama understands the uniqueness of Native nations and Native peoples – that is why I support Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States.”
“The All Indian Pueblo Council is honored to endorse Senator Barack Obama for president,” said AIPC Chairman Joe A. Garcia from the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh. “We are confident that a nation to nation relationship will be forged under the auspices of respect for sovereignty and a greater opportunity for our communities to prosper and grow.”
Said Governor Chandler Sanchez: “Senator Obama understands tribal issues. He has shown tribal leaders not only in New Mexico but across the nation a willingness to change and improve the direction of tribal policy.”
“I am honored to have the support of New Mexico’s Indian Tribes,” said Senator Obama. “Their commitment to public service is something that every American should be proud of. Indian tribes in our country face a special set of challenges – from issues of sovereignty to access to affordable healthcare. I look forward to working with all of our Tribal Leaders to ensure that we meet these challenges in an Obama-Biden administration.”
On Thursday, during his trip to Española and Albuquerque, Senator Obama met with more than 100 leaders of the Native American community at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.The endorsements represent an overwhelming majority of New Mexico’s Native American population. The AIPC consists of 19 pueblos across New Mexico. The Navajo Nation is the largest North American Indian Tribe, comprised of approximately 300,000 members located around Southeastern Utah, Northeastern Arizona and Northwestern New Mexico.