Senator Sanders with tribal leaders in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Published April 4, 2016
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN — During his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders has made a concerted effort to reach out to American Indians leaders along the campaign trail.
During campaign stops in Green Bay, Eau Claire, Oanalaska and Wausau, Sanders met with various tribal officials to discuss American Indian issues.
“I consider myself an independent personally, but as the leader of my tribe, I have to look at the issues that impact my tribe,” says Michael “Mic” Isham, Jr., tribal chairman of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
“I like how he talks about the tribes and is very knowledgeable about our issues. He is the only candidate who mentions us in each and every speech,” continues Chairman Isham.
“We are concerned about issues, such as the economy, jobs and homeland security, but we also have to be concerned about tribal issues – treaty rights, environmental issues and water rights. Senator Sanders is clearly the candidate who relates to us. He meets with tribal leaders at almost every stop. But, the number one thing is he shows us respect – that is the number one thing among us we want is respect.”
Oneida Tribal Councilor Brandon Stevens met with Senator Sanders on Friday night in Green Bay.
Senator Sanders attends a roundtable meeting with Oneida tribal officials in Green Bay last Friday evening.
“He took the time to meet with us in a clutch. He showed himself to be an intimate candidate. What really got to me was how genuine he was with us,” stated Councilor Stevens to Native News Online.
“I have been part of the tribal consultation process, where you feel as if they go through the motions. Our meeting was not nothing like those, he really had a conversation with us. We did not have to do a whole of educating him about our issues. He knows them.”
With Wisconsin being front and center tomorrow, Senator Sanders is in a tight race with front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary that has 44 delegates at stake. Polls are showing that Sanders with a slight lead in a tight race with Clinton.