DNC Native American Council Chair Issues Statement on Derogatory Comment by RNC Chair Michael Steele

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It was the Native people who first consecrated the ground on which we live and grow, who first asked for bountiful harvest and protection from the elements. In exchange for this they promised to be good stewards of the land. They made the covenants that have insured that all in this country can have a chance to live, to grow and to flourish.

Yet, it is the Native people who remain the most impoverished and the most disenfranchised in all of America. The history and the problems that Native people remember and encounter are painful and are very real. The Obama administration has sought to engage them and good will come of it. The Republicans should seek to do the same. Instead, their Chairman makes light of their humanity publicly validating old attitudes and stereotypes created by those who oppressed and brutalized Native people.

Chairman Steele's remarks were insensitive at best and have no place in a changing real world. They are cute but elitist and show his lack of substance. He epitomizes the Republican party of 2010 and those Native people Steele denigrates today should remember his Party in November. I certainly will.