Sko Vote Den is a non-partisan, multimedia voter engagement campaign that is an extension of the NDN Vote program. This campaign is meant to educate and empower Indigenous communities to get out the Native vote. We partner directly with communities to support building sustainable civic engagement programs that we hope will result in powerful voting blocks.
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NDN Political Engagement
NDN Political Engagement - the civic engagement arm of NDN Collective - focuses heavily on voter engagement and election protection through education, outreach, coalition building, and voting rights advocacy. NDN Collective believes that the right to fair voting access is one necessary tool to ensure American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous Peoples living in this country are able to adequately use their voice to:
- Exercise treaty rights
- Hold the U.S. government accountable to its trust obligations
- Protect land and sacred places, water, natural resources, and living beings
- Advocate for inclusion of accurate Indigenous history in K-12 curriculum
- Elect representatives with like-minded goals
- Advocate for community needs such as adequate healthcare, education, housing and infrastructure, racial equity, and much more
Barriers to Voting
According to the Obstacles at Every Turn Report, only 66 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native people are registered to vote, leaving more than one million unregistered voters in Indian Country. Additionally, the report reveals the main barriers to Native voting including but are not limited to:
Although litigation is expensive and mostly out of reach for most Tribal Nations and Tribal communities, Native American Rights Fund reports that more than 90 percent of voting rights cases have been decided in favor of the Indigenous litigant. This means that courts are repeatedly seeing unconstitutional voter suppression tactics in Indigenous communities.
For more information on the obstacles to voting, please visit: https://vote.narf.org.
Legal and Policy Solutions
- Passage of the Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA 2021)
- Enforcement of voter registration at Indian Health Service locations
- Tribal Consultation about placement and adequate funding for polling stations
- Cooperation by state governments and local governments to accept Tribal IDs as acceptable forms of identification, regardless of nontraditional home address systems
- Cooperation from US Postal Service to partner with Tribal Nations on a fix to addressing issues
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The Frank Harrison, Elizabeth Peratrovich, and Miguel Trujillo Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA) of 2021
Introduced in the House and Senate in August 2021.
NAVRA includes language that protects the distinct needs of Tribal Nations and American Indian and Alaska Native voters.
NAVRA has bipartisan support and has had this support since the first introduction in 2019.
In October of 2021, the 19 provisions of NAVRA were tucked into the Johns Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and that bill has since stalled.
Congress must pass voting rights for all and any bill must include all 19 provisions of NAVRA.