Western Native Voice’s advocacy program is centered on equality, social justice, economic justice, environmental justice, protecting Native American rights, and tribal sovereignty.
We ensure the Native voice is part of public policy, from creation to implementation. We focus on an array of issues determined by the communities we serve, including, but not limited to, language and cultural preservation, suicide prevention, tribal sovereignty, voting rights, access to quality healthcare, quality education, and quality affordable foods.
We have a strong Native presence at the Montana State Legislature. Staff and members engage in holding elected officials accountable for adequately addressing our issues. We rely on member communication tactics and relationships with Native and non-Native allies, including tribal governments and tribal colleges. Our success is only as strong as our members.
We hold citizen action training and invite members to hearings and action days. We help individuals become comfortable and confident in their ability to have discussions and interactions with allies, leaders, elected officials, and others.
Goals of the Advocacy Program:
- Build support for Native issues with allies and partners
- Inform Native constituents
- Communicate regularly with legislative leaders
- Track votes on targeted bills impacting Indian Country
- Work to increase funding for Native communities and organizations.
- Support legislation that improves the lives of Native American families and opposes legislation that attacks the rights of Montanans
- Advance the Native perspective at all levels of policymaking and state and federal budget allocation
- Partner with the Montana American Indian Caucus and other elected officials
“What guides our work is the direct action of tribal community members to create and implement change from their families to the policy level. The community change that is desired needs to come from the voices of those who are directly impacted by the policies.”Board of Directors, Western Native Voice