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Nevada State Democratic Party Statement in Observation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

LAS VEGAS — The Nevada State Democratic Party released the following statement in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day:

“The Nevada Native American Caucus is happy to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day with our fellow Democrats! On this day, we take a moment to feel our collective joy in ourselves, our relatives, and the land. We also take this day to acknowledge the need for our government to move beyond proclamations and toward true justice for our people,” said Mercedes Krause, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party Native American Caucus.

“We ask our leaders to make Indigenous Peoples Day a formal holiday, just as we recently saw with Juneteenth. Even more importantly, we hope that our leaders commit to honoring our treaties and to strengthening Tribal sovereignty. This begins first at Peehee mu’huh. Our leaders must halt the project at Thacker Pass, as free, prior, and informed consent remains unattained. The Administration must heed Tribal calls to cancel the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well. Finally, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 must be protected at all costs. We hope that our leaders commit to these goals and remember them, and the needs of Indian Country, on this Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Judith Whitmer added, “Today, we are honoring and observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day on what we recognize as the indigenous land of the Shoshone, Paiute, and Washoe people. It is important that we recognize that these people are still our neighbors here in Nevada, living both on and off reservations, and remain targets of discrimination to this day.”

“This discrimination includes physical violence, as we have seen with the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. It also includes cultural, environmental, and systemic violence, as we have seen with everything from the ongoing desecration of Thacker Pass and other sacred sites, ballot box access discrimination against rural tribes, and a lack of opportunities for native youth, both on and off the reservations.

It is our solemn commitment to continue working with policymakers at all levels of state and federal government to ensure that indigenous voices are elevated, that the fight to preserve sacred lands is not fought alone, and that indigenous children have every opportunity to thrive and succeed.”