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Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Calls for Partnership between Federal Government and Native Americans at Prez on the Rez Forum

August 24, 2007

CABAZON, CA -- At the first ever Prez on the Rez Forum yesterday, Governor Bill Richardson promoted his bold vision for the future of Native Americans.

"Together, we can do better in educating Native American students," Governor Richardson said. "I believe Native American issues do not get the attention they deserve in the Department of Interior. So, as President I will propose a cabinet-level department for Native American Affairs - like we did in New Mexico. Our work, together, will begin with respect and end with results."

Governor Richardson also put forward his extensive record on Native American affairs -- by far the best of any candidate running for President.

"I understand and respect tribal sovereignty," said Richardson. "I am very proud of the fact that when I was in Congress I had the opportunity to propose some of our most important commitments to Native Americans and tribal governments."

As Secretary of Energy, Richardson created the first Office of Indian Energy to institutionalize a policy of intergovernmental relations.

As Governor, he established the first Cabinet-level Indian Affairs Department. The first in New Mexico and the first in the country. Additionally, the Governor has appointed Native Americans throughout New Mexico state government.

Just a few months ago, Governor Richardson signed gaming compacts with eleven tribes in New Mexico to improve and extend our existing compacts for an additional thirty years -- an extension that enables tribes to plan for the future.

"The relationship between the federal government and tribes has increasingly come under assault," Governor Richardson said. "President Bush's administration has created an environment that undermines Tribal America's forward progress. As President I will stop the attack on tribal sovereignty."

At the Forum, Governor Richardson unveiled his proposed Native American policy under a Richardson administration. Also, the Governor announced a list of tribal leaders and Native American activists who have endorsed his bid for President.

Please find the Policy Statement, list of endorsers, and other background documents here:

http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/nativeamericans

Bill Richardson, Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Calls for Partnership between Federal Government and Native Americans at Prez on the Rez Forum Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/294926

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