"The Cherokee Nation announced Thursday that it intends to appoint a delegate to the US House of Representatives, asserting for the first time a right promised to the tribe in a nearly 200-year-old treaty with the federal government.
The Cherokee Nation's right to appoint a delegate stems from the same treaty that the US government used to forcibly remove the tribe from its ancestral lands.
As a result of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, the #Cherokee were ultimately made to leave their homes in the Southeast for present-day Oklahoma in exchange for money and other compensation. Nearly 4,000 citizens of the tribe died of disease, starvation and exhaustion on the journey now known as the Trail of Tears.
A delegate in the House of Representatives was one of the ways the US government promised to compensate the Cherokee Nation."
#Indigenous representatives in the House is one step, but we still need equally-allocated footing in the Senate.
"We have a president who doesn't understand what the trust responsibility is to tribes or our history at all." She says that's a major reason why she's running for Congress. "You want to have influence over people who are making decisions for one of the most vulnerable communities in our country."
She's one of a record number of Native American women running for office this year — a record number of women among a record number of Native American candidates. This year, Haaland says, is the year of women of color.
(Other interview snippets)
"Think of all the native women who have fought for treaty rights and fishing rights and all of those things."
" ... after thinking a woman would become president in 2016 and feeling let down, she says she decided to run for federal office. Because she says, she understands what it is to be working class in the United States.
"I identified with so much of what people go through in this district and in the state. Half of our population is Medicaid eligible," she says. "I know what it's like to be on food stamps. My daughter and I both are paying off our student loans. So, I just felt like I know what it's like and we need more people who know what it's like to struggle."
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