House Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) discussed what Native communities need with The Century Foundation’s Danny Weiss, including expanded internet infrastructure and social services like child care and education. Representative Haaland also shared her vision for the future, what makes her hopeful, and more.
Read a full transcript of the conversation with Representative Haaland below.
Representative Deb Haaland: Keep fighting, keep marching, keep resisting, keep protesting, keep adding your voice to the conversation, because what you have to say truly matters.
Danny Weiss, The Century Foundation: What can we do to protect Native American women from violence?
Haaland: If you are a Native woman in a rural community without cell phone service, and you get assaulted, and you try to call the police, and you can’t get cell service, you may not get to a phone for an hour and a half, and by that time the perpetrator is well on his way. We need to make sure that Indian tribes in these rural communities are connected to phone service, to the internet. Those are really practical problems, I think that we can remedy pretty easily and I hope that we do.
Weiss: What future are you working towards for Native American women?
Haaland: Women to be empowered, women to have opportunities in education, and having an income that they can support their families with. We have a lot of single moms in Indian country, just like there are everywhere else, need to make sure that they can take care of their children. So it’s economic opportunities, it’s educational opportunities, for themselves and their children, it’s making sure that we as a country say, this is an important issue, and we’re going to care about it.
Weiss: What gives you hope?
Haaland: There are a lot of things that give me hope, but certainly the active young people across this country who are fighting climate change, who are demanding that the adults listen and care about the environment. That gives me hope. What gives me hope is that us as Americans take a stand to protect our public lands, and I think that happens by all of us showing up and participating in this democracy. I do feel hopeful about that.
Weiss: What’s your headline of the future, Congresswoman Haaland?
Haaland: My headline of the future is: Breaking News: Climate Change Slowing Because of the Renewable Energy Revolution Taking Place Across the Country