Quantcast

Dozens gather at DNC in Philadelphia for Native American caucus - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Dozens gather at DNC in Philadelphia for Native American caucus

Posted: Updated:
The conversation at the caucus as with the Native American Council. (MTN News) The conversation at the caucus as with the Native American Council. (MTN News)
Frank LeMere, Native American activist (MTN News) Frank LeMere, Native American activist (MTN News)
Sharon Peregoy, Native American and Montana activist. (MTN News) Sharon Peregoy, Native American and Montana activist. (MTN News)
PHILADELPHIA -

Yesterday marked the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

There, many Native American and Montana activists gathered at the Native American caucus, one of the most attended caucuses of the day.

The conversation at the caucus was with the Native American Council. The hot-button issues were health care reform and the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline.

Frank LaMere is a Native American activist who is no stranger to the political world.

“I was like a Sanders delegate in 1988, and I’m still here 28 years later,” said LaMere. “That’s how this process works, that’s how politics works. There’s nothing magic about it. You do not just show up for one election and then you’re gone, well then, you shouldn’t have taken time to come here in the first place.”

LaMere is from the Winnebago tribe in Nebraska and studied at what is now Montana State University of Billings.

He believes it is important that Native American’s take part in the political process, no matter their political affiliation.

Montana’s own Sharon Peregoy, a Bernie Sanders delegate, drove over five days to Philadelphia and arrived just hours before the first day of the convention. 

“It was a great trip through the nations heartland,” said Peregoy.

She declined to comment when asked what would happen if Bernie took himself off the ballot, but did say she is happy the Democratic platform has incorporated many of Senator Sanders ideas about healthcare reform.

"He is speaking for the 99 percent," she said. "He is speaking for the average person across the United States, who has to work two jobs."

Despite a lot of support for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the Native American vote is still split between the two candidates. 

“She has not proven herself to be more than a corporate woman,” said one attendee who will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.

“[Secretary Clinton is trying to] make sure to continue on what Obama has done to have Native American voices at the table,” said National Political Director for the Clinton campaign, Amanda Renteria. “Time and time again, what we’ve heard and what we know is that empowerment is not about speaking for somebody, but listening to them while they speak.”

While there were misgivings for the presumptive democratic nominee from some of the Native delegates at the caucus, most consider themselves more anti-Trump than anti-Clinton.

“Any self-respecting Native American in the country is going to discount everything Trump has said, and they’ll be on board with Hillary Clinton,” said LaMere. “On my most objective day, on my most charitable day, I could not find it in me to support Donald Trump because of the way he has talked about Native women, women, minorities, immigrants.”  

WEATHER
Powered by Frankly

© KTVQ.com 2017, KTVQ.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?