Kamala Harris: European settlers 'ushered in a wave of devastation'

Kamala Harris says European settlers ‘ushered in a wave of devastation for Tribal nations’ as she vows to ‘address the impact of the past’ on Native American communities

  • The vice president on Tuesday addressed the National Congress of American Indians 78th Annual Convention
  • She said that history did not adequately reflect the damage done to Native American communities by European settlers
  • Harris said that the Biden administration was working to right the historic wrongs
  • She also said that Biden’s infrastructure bill would designate funds to help tribal communities with internet connections and better facilities 

Kamala Harris has vowed to address the ‘shameful past’ of America’s European settlers, saying they ‘ushered in a wave of devastation’ for Native Americans when they arrived 500 years ago.

The vice president was speaking at the National Congress of American Indians 78th Annual Convention, held this year in Portland, Oregon.

She spoke the day after Columbus Day – which has also been formally recognized for the first time this year as ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’ by President Joe Biden . 

Harris told the delegates: ‘Since 1934, every October, the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americas. 

‘But that is not the whole story. That has never been the whole story.

‘Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for Tribal nations — perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease.’

Kamala Harris on Tuesday addressed the National Congress of American Indians, and promised to work to right the historic wrongs committed by European settlers

Harris said that the Biden administration would work to right the wrongs inflicted on Native American communities for generations.

On Monday, Biden signed an executive order designed to help Native American communities with educational and economic opportunities.

‘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,’ said Harris. 

‘Native Americans are more likely to live in poverty, to be unemployed, and often struggle to get quality healthcare and to find affordable housing.’

She pointed out that Native Americans make up a large proportion of the armed forces, yet their communities are severely deprived. 

Native American activists lead a march from Freedom Plaza to the White House against continued use of fossil fuels on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the first day of a week of action hosted by People vs. Fossil Fuels

The message, ‘Expect Us’ written by Native American demonstrators, is seen on the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park on the second day of protests at the White House against the continued use of fossil fuels

‘This persistent inequity, this persistent injustice is not right. And the pandemic has only made it worse,’ she added. 

She said that Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure will help Native American communities, highlighting improved internet access and better facilities. 

‘This bill represents the largest infrastructure investment our nation has made since before World War II and presents, right now, an important opportunity to strengthen Indian Country,’ she said.

‘It would set aside funding for tribal bridge projects and the Tribal Transportation Program. 

‘It would provide Native communities with funding to build out brand new water infrastructure, and connect Native communities with high speed internet. All while creating good union jobs, millions of good union jobs. 

‘And as Native communities have led for generations upon generation on protecting our environment, I should also mention that this bill would also put millions of dollars toward making sure our communities are resilient in the face of climate change.’

Harris pointed out that Native women and girls are ‘missing and murdered at alarming rates.’ 

She also noted that Native American voters ‘are being systematically denied access to the ballot box’, and urged Congress to pass The Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – both of which are designed to reduce voter suppression. 

‘I believe strongly that we right now have a chance to change things, to improve things, to be better for this generation and for the seven generations to come,’ she said, referencing a Native American belief that we should make decisions about how we live today based on how our decisions will impact the future seven generations. 

‘Because I believe that we are at the beginning of a new era and a moment of incredible transformation. 

‘As we work to rebuild our economy, as we work to restore our democracy, we have the opportunity to build a better future together.’ 

Last year, as presidential candidate, Harris spoke at the conference and pledged to add 500,000 acres of land into trust for federally-recognized Indian tribes.

She also promised to improve the Indian Health Service, which serves 2.2 million people.

Harris’ speech came days after it was revealed school-age children who joined her for a NASA YouTube video about space exploration were child actors.

The ‘Get Curious with Vice President Harris’ video was filmed in August and tweeted out by the Vice President on October 7 to celebrate World Space Week.

It appeared to viewers that the children she was with were all normal kids.

However it has now been revealed that they are paid actors who auditioned by sending in a monologue and three questions they would ask a world leader.

Critics of Harris have leapt on the video, with the mockery compounded by the revelation that it was produced by Canadian company ‘Sinking Ship Entertainment’. 

A NASA video featuring Vice President Kamala Harris included child actors

According to a White House official, the vice president’s office did not select the children involved in the YouTube special Get Curious with Vice President Harris, a series focused on getting kids interested in space.

Instead, the office directed DailyMail.com to YouTube’s head of Entertainment Communications to discuss casting. When reaching out to NASA, they directed all questions related to the video and Harris’ involvement in the council to the vice president’s office. 

Harris was tasked in May with leading the Cabinet-level National Space Council.

The same few days Harris was shooting the video at the Naval Observatory, the Taliban was beginning to take over Afghanistan and the southern border was being flooded with illegal immigrants.

Questions have emerged over whether taxpayer dollars were used to fund the video and pay the children actors who appeared alongside the vice president.  

While YouTube did not acknowledge where the funding came from, a spokesperson for the video sharing site acknowledged the controversy over the video in a statement provided to DailyMail.com: ‘Over the last 24 hours, we’ve noticed growing commentary and questions around our YouTube Originals special, ‘Get Curious.’

‘The casting process for this show was no different from typical unscripted kids shows across other networks and streaming platforms,’ the spokesperson added.

‘YouTube selected the kids that were featured,’ the said. ‘We reached out via not for profit organizations, social media and traditional casting websites, looking for kids who were interested in contributing positively to their communities.’

‘YouTube is proud of ‘Get Curious’ and we look forward to the attention shifting back to encouraging families to get excited about space exploration.’

On Tuesday the vice president made virtual remarks before the National Congress of American Indians 78th Annual Convention – she addressed a few topics of the day but did not make mention of the controversy over her video on space exploration.

The Get Curious video, which has received a slew of criticism ranging from the vice president’s mannerisms to the fact the children were hired actors, was shot at Harris’ residence from August 11–13.

Vice President Kamala Harris was filming a video about space with child actors on August 11-13, the same days the Taliban advanced their takeover of Afghanistan and as migrants continued to flood the southern border

Harris’ office passed the buck when asked about hiring child actors for the video, claiming YouTube was in charge of the special Get Curious with Vice President Harris

During that time the Taliban were making rapid advances across Afghanistan and were closing in on Kabul during the chaotic and bungled U.S. troop withdrawal.

The city of Herat, the Helmand province, and Afghanistan’s second-largest city of Kandahar all fell to the Taliban on August 13. And by that time at least 14 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals had been taken over by the Islamic militant group.

On August 15, two days after Harris wrapped filming, Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul was overrun by the Taliban.

The month of August also saw a massive amount of encounters at the southern border with Customs and Border Protection agents coming in contact with 208,887 migrants crossing illegally from Mexico into the U.S.

Harris was named ‘border czar’ earlier this year by President Joe Biden.

Since taking on that role, the vice president’s office has redirected that she is aimed at addressing root causes in migrants’ home countries that cause them to flee and seek asylum in the U.S. in the first place.

In June, Harris took her first and only trip to the U.S. side of the southern border as she visited El Paso, Texas, which is hundreds of miles away from ground zero of the border crisis in the Rio Grande Valley.

On Friday, Harris skipped a high-level meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador which was intended to discuss the migrant crisis at the US’s southern border – to visit a daycare center in New Jersey instead. 

Border czar Kamala Harris skipped a high-level meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Friday to discuss the migrant crisis at the US’s southern border – to visit a daycare center in New Jersey instead (pictured Harris at the daycare)

The vice president appeared to have worked up an appetite as she then stopped by cake shop Tonnie’s Minis where she was joined by Senator Cory Booker

The vice president, who was put in charge of tackling the border crisis by Joe Biden back in March, delegated the thorny meeting in Mexico’s capital to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Attorney General Merrick Garland; and US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar in efforts to mend America’s fractious ties with Mexico.  

As officials from the two nations worked hashed out a new security cooperation accord and deal with a surge in migration across the border, Harris was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, Harris spent the day in New Jersey where she played bingo with children at a daycare center, stopped by a vaccination site and even had time to sample some cake at a Newark bakery.

The vice president has repeatedly come under fire from Republicans over her handling of the migrant crisis, ever since she was tapped by Biden as America’s border czar.

Harris was especially slammed for her failure to visit the border to see the state of affairs for herself. 

She finally bowed to pressure and visited the border at El Paso, Texas, in June. It is the only time she’s been to the border since taking office.  

From awkward laughter over Afghanistan withdrawal to ‘narcissistic’ cookies, Kamala sparks outrage

May: Harris tweeted a picture of herself smiling with the caption, ‘Enjoy the long weekend’ the Friday before Memorial Day.

After facing a barrage of criticism that she was ignoring the somber occasion, Harris tweeted a number of tributes to fallen service members. 

June: Harris handed out cookies to reporters on Air Force Two that were decorated with her own face.

Critics slammed the bizarre cookies as ‘narcissistic’ but an aide later explained that they were a ‘gift’ to Harris from a staffer that the VP wanted to share.

June: Harris snapped at NBC News anchor Lester Holt when he asked why she had not yet visited the border, despite being appointed Biden’s border czar.

‘And I haven’t been to Europe,’ she responded.

August: Harris drew criticism for laughing awkwardly when a reporter questioned her on the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Observers have noted that Harris has a tendency to chuckle when faced with uncomfortable questions.

September: Harris came under fire after she spent a Saturday morning at the coin toss at Howard University instead of dealing with the border crisis where the number of Hiaiti migrants camping underneath a Texas bridge swelled to more than 14,000.

Harris has been tasked by President Joe Biden to deal with the overwhelming number of illegal migrants crossing into the United States but instead made a surprise visit to her alma matter. 

Many on Twitter were quick to criticize the vice president’s appearance after her work earlier in the summer traveling to the boarder to assess the immigration situation amid the pandemic. 

Wasn’t she in charge of the border,’ one user with the handle Naty wrote. 

Another user with the name Buzz Knudson wrote, ‘I seem to remember soooooomeone was in charge there right?’ 

‘Nice to see she’s prioritizing her responsibilities as VP,’ added Ron Hill, another Twitter user.   

September: Kamala angers supporters of Israel by expressing support for a college student who accused the country of ‘ethnic genocide’ against Palestinians. 

The interaction came as Harris made a surprise visit to a political science class at George Mason University in northern Virginia to encourage voter registration and discuss voting rights. 

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