U.S. should face up to 'shameful past' with tribal nations, VP Harris says

by Reuters
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 17:09 GMT

(Refiling to add source to headline)

Oct 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that the European explorers who first landed on U.S. shores had "ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations, perpetrating violence, stealing land and spreading disease."

"We must not shy away from this shameful past, and we must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on native communities today", she told the National Congress of American Indians, the largest U.S. organization for native peoples.

The Biden administration would renegotiate a memo of understanding about federal funding for job training on tribal lands with tribal nations, she said. It was renegotiated in 2018 between 12 federal agencies but without input from the tribal nations affected.

She spoke the day after Columbus Day, which marks the landing of explorer Christopher Columbus, and the newly recognized https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-parades-protests-mark-columbus-day-now-also-indigenous-peoples-day-2021-10-11 Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Since 1934, "every October the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americans," Harris said. "That is not the whole story, that has never been the whole story." (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Heather Timmons in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)

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