- 1 Background
- 2 Native Nations March on Washington DC
- 3 Testified at Democratic Platform Hearings for the Democratic National Committee
- 4 Endorsement of Bernie Sanders for president in 2016
- 5 Meeting with Ford Foundation
- 6 White House Tribal Nations Conference
- 7 Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
- 8 References
Fawn Sharp is President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington, president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and area vice president of the National Congress of American Indians.
Fawn Sharp's past positions "included managing attorney and lead counsel; and staff attorney for the Quinault Indian Nation, administrative law judge for the Washington state Department of Revenue – Tax Appeals Division, Quinault Tribal Court Associate Judge, and Counsel for Phillips, Krause & Brown."
Native Nations March on Washington DC
March 10, 2017 Tribal leaders, indigenous rights advocates, and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe held a rally in Washington DC, to oppose the Trump administration’s approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and to support Native American tribal land rights. Musical performers included the Akwesasne Mohawk Women Singers, Prolific the Rapper, and Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas.
Speakers were Dave Archambault, Chair Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Gabriel Ayala, Classical Musician, Candi Brings Plenty, Director Equi Institute, Lisa DeVille Activist Mandaree, Maria DeVille, Vice President Modern Day Warriors, Peggy Flanagan, Member White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Tulsi Gabbard U.S. Representative [D] Hawaii, Mayda Garcia Representative, , Society of Native Nations, JoDe Goudy Chair Yakima Nation Tribal Council (Washington), Kim Howe, Activist, Judith LeBlanc, Native Organizers Alliance, Melissa Mark-Viverito Speaker New York, NY City Council, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Hip Hop Artist and Activist, Alice Brown Otter, Activist, Prolific the Rapper, Fawn Sharp, President Quinault Indian Nation, Faith Spotted Eagle, Activist, Wes Studi, Actor and Film Producer, Taboo, Rapper, Ulali, Activist, Eryn Wise, Activist, Eagle Woman, Activist North Dakota, Royal Yellow Hawk Representative Rosebud, South Dakota-Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council.
Testified at Democratic Platform Hearings for the Democratic National Committee
Endorsement of Bernie Sanders for president in 2016
Fawn Sharp penned an OpEd supporting then-Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders where she criticized the Supreme Court Citizen's United decision, claimed that Americans are racist against Native Americans, and advocated for federal funding for Native American tribes.
- "Ask any American politician which people have the lowest average income and the chances are you’ll get a wrong answer.
- Bernie Sanders knows.
- Ask which ethnic group has the shortest life expectancy, the highest major disease rates, the highest incarceration rates, the fewest education opportunities or the smallest per person investment by the federal government and the response will very likely be incorrect.
- Bernie Sanders will get it right. Every time.
- Why does Senator Bernie Sanders know these things about Native Americans?
- He knows because he cares enough to know.
- All across the United States Native American Tribes and their citizens are standing up to be counted as supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders for the next President of the United States.
- Why? Because Bernie Sanders respects and values tribal members as Americans and as people with rich heritage who have made enormous contributions to this country, but who have been mostly abused and neglected in return.
- Senator Sanders believes the United States needs to support and work with us to help us improve our standard of living. He agrees with the principles established in the U.S. Constitution, which clearly support the right of Indian Nations to self-govern and have sovereign jurisdiction over our lands. He actively promotes measures to achieve justice for our people.
- Former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black once said, “Great nations, like great men, should keep their word.”
- Senator Sanders believes this is a principle that helps define true greatness as well as justice in any society. Yet it is a principle that America has failed to abide by in its relationship with tribes. The treaties established between the United States and Indian Nations all across this country have all been violated by the federal government, one-by-one. And federal cutbacks in meeting their trust responsibilities to tribes continue to be violated today.
- Our relationship improved under the Obama Administration, although cutbacks continued in critical areas—causing hunger and suffering at the hands of the Republican congressional majorities. Most people in this country have no idea how much suffering continues on Indian Reservations today as a result. Bernie does.
- The anti-environmental positions of Congress have been a blatant example of bad governance and treaty violation. Tribes are dedicated to protecting the natural heritage and restoring the fish and wildlife of this country, which are being threatened by such impacts as pollution, habitat destruction and climate change. Senator Sanders will fight against these forces. He took a clear and adamant stand against the Keystone Pipeline, for example, and he will stand with us against other irresponsible activities by the fossil fuel industry and other polluters. No one will work harder to help usher our country into the clean energy generation.
- Senator Sanders has committed, in writing, to support the tribes, our sovereignty and our objectives. His stated platform on tribal sovereignty is: “Native American tribes should have sovereign control over their lands. Native tribes should have jurisdiction over crimes committed on their lands.”
- We will not tolerate the invasion of non-tribal lawbreakers onto our lands. Whether they be drug smugglers, thieves, or whatever, we need to have the ability to arrest and prosecute anyone who violates the law on Indian land. Senator Sanders will stand behind us on this.
- He co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which would give each tribal government jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes and provide funding for tribal criminal justice systems and victim services.
- Senator Sanders knows our substandard healthcare systems must improve. He acknowledges the racism that exists against the tribes. His platform reads, “The history of gross mistreatment of Native Americans should be brought to and maintained in the public’s attention. Stereotypes and slurs against Native Americans should be discouraged and denounced.” We are a proud people, who want to be good neighbors, and work with others to build strong, sustainable economies and a healthy environment. We can do that with the support of President Bernie Sanders.
- He has made his position clear, saying that, “Healthcare for Native Americans should be improved to better address the health issues that affect them. Native Americans experience disproportionately high rates of particular health problems , and also face challenges in receiving effective healthcare.” He has a platform we can believe in.
- Senator Sanders is honest and exceptionally sensitive to the social, political, economic, and racial inequality that has sharply divided and demoralized our Great Nation and has articulated a clear vision for restoring the soul of our crumbling democracy.
- Two years ago, a study from Princeton University penned by researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, made the bold statement that we no longer live in a democracy. Asking “[w]ho really rules?” they made a very compelling case that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into a system of “Economic Elite Domination,” where wealthy elites wield most power.
- Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters. The Citizens United Decision and other abuses in campaign financing by rich power brokers like the Koch brothers underscore the validity of their findings.
- “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” they wrote, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
- The case could easily be made that the rich have always wielded an inordinate amount of power in this country, which flies in the face of democratic principles and has been at the root of such transgressions of justice as treaty violation and election manipulation. Ironically, democratic principles existed among the tribes on this continent thousands of years before the United States was established.
- So one could reasonably ask if the United States ever truly has had a true democracy. One thing is certain. There has been progress, and it has come at time when the people of the this country arose and consistently demanded it. So, considering the fact that we all want a country of the people, by the people and for the people, there clearly is need for a political revolution.
- For the average citizen it may not be apparent that our democracy has slowly and completely faded out of existence. Not for Senator Senators. Through the three decades of power mongering by the elite and wealthy, he has been a front line General and seasoned veteran in the war to defend, protect, and advance our democracy and the sacred ideals of social, political, economic, and racial equality. It motivates, inspires, and drives him every day to honor the pledge he made in raising his right hand, so many decades ago, to defend the U.S. Constitution and to give us something beyond a hallow and silent voice – a real path to restore and reclaim our democracy."
Meeting with Ford Foundation to have met with the Ford Foundation in New York City in January, 2017.
White House Tribal Nations Conference
Fawn Sharp attended the 7th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in 2015. During an interview, Sharp praised Barack Obama for "advanc[ing] the cause of Native Americans." She was quoted as saying in part:
- "As President Obama works to complete his final year in the White House, I wish to commend everything he has done to support the tribes across the country. There is still a lot of work to do to advance the cause of Native Americans, but no other U.S. president in history has ever done what he has done. None has issued a proclamation to his administration instructing the Executive Branch to assure that their rulings be respectful of tribal rights in all actions affecting Native people. None has ever visited as many tribes as he has. He was even adopted into the Crow Nation! None has ever hired as many Native Americans to serve on his immediate staff, and none has ever set aside a time each and every year during which he and his cabinet have met with hundreds of tribal leaders from across the country to learn about and discuss tribal problems, challenges, and ideas.
- As I say, there is still much work to do, largely due to the gridlock in Congress. Cuts in federal funding have truly hurt the American Indian people—the people with the lowest life expectancy, the highest disease rate, the lowest average income, and the largest percentage of school dropouts and incarcerations in all of America.
- We at Quinault are working hard to change these things, and we are making good progress. But it is imperative that the spirit of President Obama be felt by all in federal government."
Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
Fawn Sharp has repeatedly criticized and rallied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In September 2016, Sharp was quoted as saying:
- "When the United States can take unilateral action directly affecting our ancestral areas - our sacred sites, our environment, our quality of life and our water - with no regard for our position, to even give us a voice on those issues..."
- "“The situation at Standing Rock is a prime example of the need to fundamentally change relationships between the United States and Tribal Nations. For years, we have sought to resolve concerns through open, respectful dialogue. The United States has a responsibility and duty to honor our treaties which are part of the supreme law of the land under the Constitution and to work with us on a government-to-government basis. That responsibility includes protection from the types of out-of-control, militaristic actions being taken against peaceful protestors in North Dakota. The protestors are seeking to prevent catastrophic damage to water and cultural resources and the right to be consulted and engage in meaningful dialogue before irreparable harm occurs. To us, a meaningful relationship is defined by a mutual understanding that no one sovereign can take unilateral action affecting the lands, territories, or people of another sovereign and certainly not over that sovereign’s objections and without the other’s consent. We need real progress and acknowledgment of and respect for sovereign rights and true adherence to our treaties and the Federal Trust Responsibility. A true dialogue between sovereign nations is an absolute necessity. Quinault formally requested a government-to-government discussion on our proposed framework with the Obama Administration three years ago. We are still awaiting their response..."
In January 2017, Fawn Sharp spoke at an "emergency rally" to condemn President Donald Trump's move to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue as planned:
- "No matter who you are,” she told the crowd, “you have that precious vision for the future that you have with your children, your grandchildren and several generations out. We all stand united to make sure no power establishment will take that from us."
- Fawn Sharp Biography, accessed March 10 2017
- [https://www.c-span.org/video/?425181-1/members-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-hold-protest-white-house C-Span MARCH 10, 2017 Native Nations Rise March and Rally]
- Bernie Sanders Knows, accessed March 10 2017
- accessed March 10 2017
- Meet Native America: Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Area Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians, accessed March 10 2017
- Wash. Tribe Joins Protest of Dakota Access Pipeline, accessed March 10 2017
- Standing with Standing Rock: Quinault Nation Demands Immediate Stop to the Dakota Access pipeline, accessed March 10 2017
- accessed March 10 2017
- Hundreds rally in Seattle against Trump’s move to advance Keystone XL, Dakota pipelines, accessed March 10 2017