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Rounds’ RESPECT Act Unanimously Passes Out of Senate

Bill would repeal 11 outdated laws, including law that allowed authorities to forcibly place Native children in cruel boarding schools

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds’ (R-S.D.) legislation to repeal discriminatory federal laws targeting Native Americans unanimously passed the Senate.

The Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act would repeal 11 outdated federal laws, including laws that stripped Native American children from their families for the purpose of placing them in cruel “Indian reform schools” like the now infamous Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

A full list of laws the RESPECT would repeal is available HERE.

“We are one step closer to removing these immoral, discriminatory federal laws from our books,” said Rounds. “Throughout history, Native Americans have been subjected to unfair treatment from our federal government, including the forcible removal of their children from their homes. The fact that these laws are still in our federal code is appalling. I thank my Senate colleagues for agreeing with me and unanimously passing this legislation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to get the RESPECT Act to the president’s desk.”

Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are cosponsors of this legislation.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House on May 12 by Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.). The legislation now awaits action in the House before it can be signed into law by the president.

The RESPECT Act is supported by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association (GPTCA) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).


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