Aug 17, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Warren presents 2020 plan to protect tribal lands, support Native Americans

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/Contributor/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) introduced the newest of her 2020 policy plans focused on helping Native Americans and protecting tribal rights.

The big picture: Warren's plan aims to bring Native American issues into focus "after months of largely refraining from doing so in the wake of a controversy over her ancestry," says the New York Times. It also comes days before she is expected to appear at a presidential forum on Native American issues in Sioux City, Iowa.

Context: Warren released the plan with freshman Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who endorsed Warren for 2020 and is "one of the first two Native American women to be elected to Congress," reports Politico.

  • The proposal comes after the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report in Dec. 2018 finding "federal programs designed to support the social and economic wellbeing of Native Americans remain chronically underfunded.”


The massive plan looks to address issues ranging from economic development to restoring tribal sovereignty.

  • Warren says, if elected, she would revoke the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline permits approved by President Trump.

On health care, Warren says her CARE Act would allot $800 million over the next 10 years to tribal governments and organizations along with Urban Indian Health Programs and improved Medicaid services.

  • Warren also plans to expand tele-mental health services to help combat substance abuse disorders, resolve the suicide crisis and address childhood trauma.

For broadband access, Warren is proposing an $85 billion federal grant program that will help "build the missing 8,000 miles of middle mile fiber on tribal lands."

On housing, she wants to expand a grant program that provides affordable housing activities on Indian reservations and Indian areas to $2.5 billion. The funds would go toward building or rehabilitating nearly 200,000 homes. Tribes would be able to manage their own Section 8 federal housing vouchers as well.

On education, Warren wants to invest $50 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

On public safety, Warren wants to restore tribal sovereignty over crimes on native land so there is flexibility to provide justice fully and fairly.

  • Warren also has plans to include protections for Native victims of abuse with the reauthorization of the 2013 Violence Against Women's Act. 84.3% of Native women report experiencing some type of violence in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Other 2020 candidates have released plans in support of Native Americans. Julián Castro, the former HUD secretary under President Obama, shared his plan last month. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also shared his list of priorities to help empower tribal nations.

Go deeper: Elizabeth Warren on the issues, in under 500 words

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