Farmington, N.M. – Democrats railed on Donald Trump’s harmful attitudes toward tribes at a press conference ahead of Donald Trump Jr.’s stops in San Juan County. Donald Trump has along history of insulting Native Americans in order to line his own pockets. He has made unsubstantiated and offensive claims about “organized crime” in Native American gaming, and used the name Pocahontas as a derogatory name.
Navajo Vice President Jonathan Nez released the following statement on Donald Trump Jr.’s visit to the Navajo Nation today, “It’s interesting how Republicans remember Navajos when it’s election season. At other times of year they are not available to address issues facing Navajo people. I appreciate the relationships we’ve cultivated with the Democratic Party. They’ve been committed to helping Navajo and we hope to continue these relationships with the first female president, Hillary Clinton.”
“As the first Native American chair of a major state party, I recognize when Native folks have been Trumped,” Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairwoman Debra Haaland said during the press conference. “Any presidential candidate should be held to a high standard and being a billionaire doesn’t excuse you. Hillary Clinton recognizes the need to nurture the excellent government-to-government relationships that are necessary to include our 23 New Mexico tribes in our country’s successes.”
Former N.M. Representative and former Iyanbito Chapter President Albert Shirley addressed the press in Navajo. He pointed to Trump’s disrespect toward veterans and criticized N.M. Representative Sharon Clahchischilliage for putting the extreme Republican agenda above her community. Former Representative Albert Shirley specifically cited Clahchischilliage’s vote to cut $11.4 million from the Tribal Infrastructure Fund (TIF) and support to take away important protections for tribal lands.
Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to win in New Mexico, early voting numbers still favor Democrats across the state—a clear affirmation that Democrats message is resonating with New Mexicans and that New Mexico rejects the dangerous and divisive campaign being run by Donald Trump and the many Republicans who support him including Steve Pearce, Nora Espinoza, Sharon Clahchischilliage, and Alonzo Baldonado.
Press conference speakers included Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairwoman Debra Haaland, San Juan County Democratic Party Chair Henry Silentman, Former New Mexico Representative and former Iyanbito Chapter President Albert Shirley, and Farmington Resident Gloria Lehmer.