Earlier in September, several key Indigenous leaders in Wisconsin met virtually to discuss the most pressing needs of their communities and share their thoughts on the upcoming presidential election. From reporting via Up North News, among those in attendance were Whitney Gravelle, tribal attorney for Bay Mills Indian Community and Tricia Zunker, Wausau School Board president and 7th Congressional District candidate.

“All of the glaring deficiencies of this administration could be curbed with a leader that has a plan not only to stop the spread of the virus but also a plan to protect our people and protect the health care access that we will need to fight the COVID pandemic. I do believe Joe Biden will do that,” said Whitney Gravelle.

Each of the speakers spoke at length on the inequality that America’s 575 sovereign nations are facing due to the Trump administration’s mishandling of the pandemic. According to the original reporting and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this inequality continues to disproportionately impact tribal communities.

According to Zunker, “Things like more testing, more personal protection equipment for our frontline workers, hazard pay, sick leave, and an extension of unemployment benefits are needed now. Even when we get past this pandemic, we need to ensure access to healthcare for Native people.

“The federal government has a treaty and trust responsibility to provide health care services to Native Americans, something Joe Biden takes seriously and will ensure is fulfilled. He has a track record to prove it.”

You can read more about the ongoing inequities faced by Indigenous communities and the candidate they believe is best-equipped to address those issues here.