Four Directions Native American Peoples Forum
Before we get to the full Conference/Forum of the presidential candidates in August 2019, I am including an audio from a Lannon Foundation podcast with Vijay Prashad and Melanie K. Yazzie. Lannan Foundation is a literary foundation that, among other things, produces a speaker series in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This particular presentation speaks directly to the situations and conditions of aboriginal peoples around the world.
At a later point in this talk Vijay Prashad calls out to Bernie Sanders and asks, “Bernie, I’m with you, but how are you going to get rid of the billionaires?”
I will answer for Bernie here Bernie answers:
When you have half a million Americans sleeping out on the street today, when you have 87 million people uninsured or under-insured, when you have hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt, and then you also have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society, that is a moral and economic outrage. And the truth is we cannot afford to continue this level of income and wealth inequality and we cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption have been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years. So, if you’re asking me, do I think that we should demand that the wealthy, the wealthiest top one per cent, start paying their fair share of taxes, so we can create a nation and a government that works for all us, yes, that is exactly what I believe.
- Bernie Sanders Debate 4
Let us look at one of the persistant questions asked of all the candidates regarding the Medals of Honor bestowed upon soldiers of the military massacre conducted at Wounded Knee of 1890. If you are not familiar with it, there was a paragraph from Wikipedia I was going to include, which summarized the event, but today (day after Native American Day, formerly Columbus Day), the entire Wikipedia page on Wounded Knee is completely new and updated.
Of each candidate, Elder Marcella LeBeau asks the question concerning H.R. 3467 also known as Remove the Stain Act in the 116th Congress (2019-2020). The resolution has been in Congress since 2001. It is not the nearly 130 year old medals that the Lakota want rescinded, it is the fact that the medals are represented on banners to this day on the American flag.
Four Directions Conference
The Four Directions Native American Peoples Forum with nine presidential candidates was like a large conference. Conducted over two days, there are several hours of video in four parts. The videos linked below are from Vimeo. They are raw, unedited video from the live stream, therefore you will want to scrub through them. Each candidate had a sponsor, someone who knew something about the candidate and introduced that candidate. Some appeared via remote video. Bernie Sanders was last and in my estimation the most sensitive to the Native American issues; I have included the audio of his segment below the video links.