America’s Native American populations are historically underserved and undervalued, and as your representative I will fight for federal funds for these communities and hold the government accountable to its promised treaties. It is disheartening to know that the Native American life expectancy is a whole 5.5 years shorter on average than all U.S. race populations. In some states, the difference can jump to a 20 year shorter life expectancy. Poor social conditions, education, and healthcare have resulted in shorter lifespans for Native Americans. Federal assistance programs for Native Americans are a vital tool for staying out of poverty, I will work to increase funding levels to support all of our tribes in New Mexico.
- Increase funding for Indian Health Services. The IHS provides inadequate healthcare services for Native Americans not only in New Mexico but across the entire country. Outdated facilities have under-qualified staffs, and often these clinics are understaffed. The old facilities create long wait times and more bureaucratic variables that stand between Native Americans and their healthcare. I want to increase funding for IHS to nearly $15 billion to provide proper healthcare to Native America.
- Promote opportunities for Native Americans to pursue careers in healthcare. I believe that included in the IHS budget should be an additional budget item to provide scholarships for Native Americans to continue an education in healthcare. More Native American doctors serving Native Americans is a good thing, it gives healthcare back to the tribes, and will reduce racism in the IHS system.
- Create Education Systems that Prepare Students for College and Career. I take great pride in New Mexico’s multiculturalism and believe that our approach to education must make this asset a central point of tailored pedagogy and teaching techniques. We must fully fund the Bureau of Indian Education and create more pathways for upward mobility while also expanding opportunities for apprenticeships and affordable post-secondary education options.
- Improve Housing on Tribal Lands. Right now too many Native Americans do not have adequate housing and that is why I am working to provide for more local control and oversight and to simultaneously increase funding for full funding of the Indian Housing Block Grant Program.
- Native American tribes don’t have full sovereignty. As of now if a tribe wants to allow an energy company to begin development on tribal lands, there are over 49 federal bureaucratic steps necessary to go through. These federal restrictions take sovereignty away from the tribes and dissuade economic investments in Native American communities. Part of my plan to incentivize renewable energy development across the country will be additional provisions that loosen federal restrictions for investment in solar and wind power on Native tribal lands. Included in these provisions are plans to grow Native Americans access to the internet.