Published February 2, 2017
WASHINGTON — Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation, will attend the National Prayer Breakfast in the nation’s capital Thursday morning with the hope of reaching President Donald Trump and other high ranking federal officials with an important message.
“The country is obviously divided. There are no surprises there. Some of the country’s leaders are fixated on determining whose fault it is. That doesn’t matter,” said President Sharp.
“What matters is that we come together, however we can. We must find common ground, and prayer is the way to get there. The lives of Native Americans are intertwined with prayer. Our entire culture, from our ceremonies to the way we manage our land and resources are based on our connection with our spiritual lives. We don’t judge each other by the color of our skin or the place where we worship our Creator. We support each other because we believe we are all brothers and sisters and we respect all other forms of life in the same manner. We are caretakers of the land because we know our children and their children will need to have a healthy Earth, just as we do,” said President Sharp.
“I hope this Prayer Breakfast is a point on our long road toward national healing where all those in attendance can open their hearts to all Americans and truly listen to every prayer request and find a way to truly bring people together,” said President Sharp.
“Those of us who are the elected leaders in Indian Country want him, the members of his Administration, the members of Congress and everyone in the federal government to open their hearts and minds to the truth about the federal/tribal relationship. Historically it has been one of broken promises, terror and theft,” says President Sharp.
“But it does not have to be that way. The tribal nations in this country continue to suffer at rates most people don’t understand, but our faith has carried us through the past two centuries and we are on the move. We have contributed greatly to this country, and our contribution continues to grow. We are major employers now and in many areas we are the backbone of the economy. We are leading employers and natural resource managers, habitat restorers and energy providers. More of our young people are staying in school now and graduating from college, becoming professionals and making important contributions to society. We are sovereign governments who take care of our citizens and many of us are achieving self-sufficiency,” said President Sharp.
“The time has come and is long overdue for the United States to abide by the Constitution, and truly consult with tribal governments, nation-to-nation before surging forward with projects affecting them? The Dakota Access Pipeline for example. Rather than make a unilateral decision to push forward and jeopardize the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s water supply, honor our united prayers to live as our Creator intended on those sacred lands gifted to our ancestors when time began. It would demonstrate true, united, leadership to do so,” said President Sharp.
“I pray that you will do so,” said President Sharp.
In addition to being President of the Quinault Nation, in Western Washington State, Fawn Sharp is President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (72 member Tribes in six northwest states) and Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians (550 member Tribes nationwide).
The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year.