This second video clip (Hawk #2) is a selected highlight of the closing keynote address delivered on December 11 by Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Another video clip (Hawk #1) of the speech and related transcripts are also available.
[Start of video clip.]
[Larry Echo Hawk speaking on stage at the 12th National Indian Nations Conference.]
Just earlier this week I was meeting with what we call the Tribal Interior Budget Council. We have all 12 regions of the country represented by tribal leaders and they meet with us and they tell us what their thoughts are about the Interior Indian Affairs budget. Last year, the top priority, by the way, was public safety; it may be again this year—that’s why the 35-percent increase, right? We listen to what they say in this administration.
But one of the members of that council spoke up and he said we need to pay more attention to restorative justice. It’s not just about arresting people and putting them in prison. We have to have safe communities. And maybe right now we have to do that, but in the long-run what we really need to do is heal the community and people in the community. These are our people that are going for life sentences in prison. Now, that’s going to be the result in certain kinds of situations. But what we really need to be about is not just arresting people, because—I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—we cannot arrest ourselves out of the problems that we have today.
We must do everything we can to address wellness issues in our communities. We need to make healthy families. We need to provide services to our children, a good education along with that; to raise them so they do not become criminal law offenders in their juvenile and young adult years. We need to deal with the vexing problem of poverty. We need to create jobs. And we need to have a quality education system that our children—our young people—have access to, because education is the powerhouse of jobs and economic development.
[End of video clip.]
Related Conference Video Clips and Transcripts: