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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA Lorna Wilbur, Swinomish from Washington state, is the first tribal person named to the Democratic National Committee.
Lorna Wilbur - Swinomish
She is in Charlotte this week as a delegate. On Monday, she and others were trying to fire up the American Indians who are in Charlotte for the Democratic Party's Convention.
“It matters who we put in office so we have our needs met. President Obama has sent more funding to Indian country than any president in recent memory,”
Wilbur said. She encouraged every person in the room to get involved to achieve better tribal representation in local, state and national governments.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, championed the Affordable Care Act's impact on Native American health.
“It's called ObamaCare because he cares,”
She pointed to record American Indians turnout in the last election and noted how crucial voter turnout among tribal peoples was in 2008.
“We must meet and exceed that turnout this year,”
“This election, especially for Native Americans, is personal,”
the Congresswoman added.
“We can't afford to go back to an administration that will decide what's best for you and let you know without including you or giving you a voice.”
Katherine Archuleta, National Political Director for Obama For America, listed several achievements of the Obama administration that have directly impacted tribal communities. President Obama is working to improve the health of tribal communities with the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, reduce the violent crimes on reservations with the Tribal Law & Order Act, and has expanded broadband Internet into tribal communities. Attendees were given a two page list of actions.
The President has your back!Achuleta announced to loud applause.
Denise Juneau, first Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana, also encouraged the group to energize their local communities to vote and work for Obama. Juneau will speak to the Convention Wednesday night at 7 pm.
“If we do not turn out, we have an opportunity to lose so much,”
“Put your moccasins on the ground, and go knock on doors.”
The next generation of American Indian leadership was also represented at the council. Twenty year old Lexie LaMere, already an experienced advocate for Native Americans in her home state of Nebraska, and Somah Haaland of New Mexico, only 18, both played active roles in the proceedings.
“I'm excited because this is my first election in which I can vote,”
“and I'm looking forward to representing the youth of New Mexico here in Charlotte!”
posted September 4, 2012 8:30 am edt