Kamala Harris, US Vice President Joe Biden, said the United States must confront its “disgraceful past” and spoke of violence and theft perpetrated by the early “explorers of America”.
“We must not bury our heads in the sand in front of this disgraceful past,” Harris said.
Addressing the National Conference of the American Indians, the largest Native American organization, Harris added that “the arrival of European explorers who first arrived on American shores heralded a wave of devastation for the indigenous peoples, who committed acts of violence, theft of land and spread disease.”
She announced that the Biden administration would renegotiate with indigenous peoples a memorandum of understanding over federal funding for job training in tribal lands.
Harris’s comments came the day after Columbus Day, which commemorates the arrival of explorer Christopher Columbus in the new lands, and the newly announced Indigenous Peoples Day.