- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting that aims to protect voting rights for all eligible Americans. The president signed the executive order on the 56th annivesary of Bloody Sunday, a day when police beat Black marchers as they marched to gain the right to vote.
"The right to vote is sacred and fundamental – and this is just the beginning of our work to ensure every American can freely exercise that right," Biden said.
Included in the president's executive order is the establishment of an interagency Steering Group On Native American Voting Rights.
In Sec. 10 of the executive order, the Steering Group is to engage in “meaningful and robust consultation” with tribal nations and Native leaders on focus areas and concerns for Native American voting rights and to develop a report on best practices and recommendations after one year.
The executive order was applauded by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
“We applaud and share President Biden’s vision for a country where all Americans secure equal access to freely and fully participate in our democracy. One of the first resolutions considered by NCAI at its inaugural convening in 1944 was brought by a tribal delegate who was concerned that American Indians were being denied the right to vote,” NCAI President Fawn Sharp said in a statement released by the organization on Sunday evening.
Sharp’s statement continues:
“We have been working since that time to protect and promote voting rights for Native people. We know the importance of making our voices heard and exercising our right to vote. Unfortunately, it is simply harder in many cases for tribal citizens to vote than it is for other.
In the face of increasing efforts in some states to restrict access to voting, President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, and the Native American voting rights steering group it creates, are essential. With the myriad of jurisdictional issues, challenges facing rural and reservation communities, and the denial of the use of tribal identification cards as a form of ID, there are unique issues that warrant careful review and ultimately enactment of a modern Native American Voting Rights Act.
We look forward to working with the Steering Group to ensure that the needs of Indian Country are considered, and Native voters have equal access to the ballot box.”
For additional information about challenges faced by Native voters, please see “Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters,” a report published by the Native American Voting Rights Coalition summarizing the findings from nine public hearings.
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (October 2, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Citizen, Justice Mark Montour, Appointed State Appellate Court Justice
Hundreds Gather in St. Paul for Boarding School Survivors Candlelight Vigil
Walk to Freedom for Leonard Peltier Halfway to Washington
President Biden Welcomes a “Conversation” about Atlanta Braves’s Name and the Infamous Tomahawk Chop
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.