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Native American:

Proposition Papers

Clinton/Gore

On Issues of Concern to the Native Americans




Bill Clinton and Al Gore believe that mutual respect for past trusts and treaties between the federal government and more than 500 tribal governments is an important prerequisite for improving the lives of Native Americans, both on and off tribal lands.

Republican administrations have given nothing but lip service over the last twelve years to an affirmation of the government-to-government relationship between the federal and tribal governments. A Clinton/Gore Administration will give tribal governments more say in the distribution of federal funds geared toward economic growth, universal access to quality, affordable health care, and improved education.

Guarantee Rights

* Support sovereignty and self-determination of Native American tribal governments.

* Reaffirm the government-to-government relationship between Indian tribes and the United States by promoting true consultation and increased tribal authority in the administration of federal funds.

* Authorize and direct the Department of the Interior to ensure that prior treaties and trust obligations are respected and fulfilled.

* Protect tribal religious and spiritual freedoms: prohibit the desecration of Native American burial sites and protect access to sacred sites.

* Reform and strengthen the Bureau of Indian Affairs and build a close working relationship between the Bureau, the White House and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

* Support the sovereign rights of Indian tribal governments to resolve local disputes with states in accordance with federal law.

* Reaffirm citizenship of all Native Americans and improve voting access.

Pursue Economic Development

* Pursue innovative strategies to develop self-sufficient reservation economies.

* Create public-private partnerships to give low-income entrepreneurs a lift in starting Native American businesses, both on and off reservations.

* Implement a New Enterprise Tax Cut and create community development banks to further assist small businesses.

* Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that no one with a family who works full-time has to raise their children in poverty. The credit will also be expanded for part-time workers, giving them a greater incentive to work.

* Repair roads, highways and bridges on and around reservations through public and private investment.

Expand Health Care

* Incorporate goals of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act into Administration plans to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

* Provide a core benefits package for all Americans, including ambulatory physician care, in-patient hospital care, prescription drugs, basic mental health services, and preventive care benefits -- including measures to combat and prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and AIDS in Native American communities.

* Keep hospital clinics open longer, particularly in rural areas that are currently under-served.

* Provide incentives for students and mid-career health professionals to serve in primary care professions on reservations and in urban Native American health clinics.

* Center premiums on a community-based rating that does not discriminate because of pre-existing health conditions.

* Improve long-term care by expanding Medicare and giving older Americans a choice of home or institutional care, including supporting tribal nursing homes to give Native American elders choice in kinds of care.

* Support increased research to study and combat health issues of particular concern to Native Americans, including AIDS, drug and alcohol addictions, tuberculosis, and diabetes.

* Intensify health education and provide health care for children through school-based health clinics.

Encourage Education

* Fully fund the Head Start program and support reservation day care facilities as part of a national child care network.

* Set National Standards through a National Examination System that will prepare our children to compete in the global economy.

* Support bilingual and bicultural programs that involve parents, tribal leaders, and other community figures.

* Establish a National Trust Fund out of which every American can borrow money to go to college, so long as he or she pays it back either as a small percentage of income over time, or with two years of community service.

* Train non college-bound students through a National Apprenticeship program to give these individuals the boost they need to compete in today's economy.

* Increase adult literacy by working with states to make sure that every state has a clear, achievable plan to teach everyone with a job to read, and earn a General Equivalency Diploma.

Protect Environment

* Provide technical assistance to tribal governments to implement sound land, water and mineral use strategies that protect the environment while encouraging economic growth in Native American communities.

* Increase energy efficiency in Native American communities and promote alternative energy sources as part of a national energy strategy.

Better Housing

* Implement policies that favor home ownership for all Native Americans.

* Increase the Federal Housing Authority mortgage guarantees to 95 percent to assist first-time home buyers and boost the construction industry.

The Record

* Arkansas recently adopted legislation prohibiting the desecration of Native American burials and the commercial trade or display of human remains and sacred objects..

* Governor Clinton named a lifetime voting member of the Indian Inter-Tribal Association of Arkansas to his liaison in Indian affairs.

* Senator Gore supports efforts to prevent discrimination in employment, housing and educational opportunities. He also supports the endeavors by the Native American Indian Council to ensure justice for native people.

* Supports efforts to deter the desecration of burial grounds, including intervening in a dispute between the Alliance for Native American Indian Rights and the Federal Highway Administration concerning a bridge reconstruction effort which could have resulted in major damage to a Native American burial site.

* Supports protection of invaluable artifacts such as those provided for by the Native American Arts and Crafts provision in the 1987 Federal Trade Commission Authorization.





 




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