Having grown up on a family ranch, I know the love and concern that comes from stewarding the land and its resources. I am also aware that the very land I grew up loving and caring for was land that was taken by force from the Salinan Tribe by white settlers, and never ceded by treaty. I recognize the long and deeply painful history between our government and the First Nations, and that the breaking of treaties and promises continues today.
Western industrialization has brought the world to the brink of great calamity through climate change. Native communities have been the stewards of our natural resources for centuries, a reality that has been systematically dismissed and erased from our national dialogue and our history. As an agricultural educator, I have seen and studied the impacts of climate change firsthand. In our region, the most glaring examples of this emergency are the tragic and massive wildfires that have impacted our North State communities. I believe it is vital to learn from the ecological knowledge and forest stewardship of tribes.
We have a lot of work to do in promoting the well-being of our Native communities, respecting the sovereignty of Native people and lands, and ensuring that the tribes have a seat at the table on the issues that matter to California’s 1st District and to our nation. As your Congresswoman, I promise to make sure Native American people are part of constructing the road to recovery and progress for our region.