LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Many anticipated the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders to Lawton. Senator Sanders addressed the 28th annual Comanche Nation Fair Powwow Sunday evening.
Hundreds chanted for Senator Sanders as he entered the powwow. People of all ages in a circle, showing their support. One supporter driving three hours to attend.
“I’ve been a big supporter of Bernie Sanders for a while now," said Taylor Gamble. "When I heard he was coming here, I asked to get off work as soon as I could and I came down to see him. I want to see him as the next president for 2020.”
Comanche Dancers made their way around the center of the powwow, showing Senator Sanders their heritage.
“I pray and I hope that Senator Sanders will see who we are as native people, how we hold on to our culture," said Jereaux Sanders, Comanche Nation Fair Powwow Coordinator. "We, as indigenous people, we love our way of life. A lot of people don’t understand who we are, what we’re about. Tonight’s his chance to see who really Comanche people.”
Senator Sanders said he had never experienced anything like the Comanche Nation’s Powwow.
“Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this beautiful, beautiful celebration. I have been, needless to say, to many events in my political career, but I do not believe that I’ve been to anything as beautiful and as moving as this event," said Senator Sanders. "So thank you so much for allowing me to be with you.”
Senator Sanders acknowledged Native Americans and their diligence to protecting the land.
“You have enriched the American people. You have educated the American people. Especially, your respect for the environment," said Senator Sanders. "What you understand and what you have taught us, and it is a lesson that must be learned now or the entire planet will be endangered, you have taught us that as human beings we are part of nature and we cannot destroy nature and survive.”
Jereaux Sanders said this is the first time any politician has come to visit the Comanches personally.
“I believe that tonight is one that we can mark down in history as having a United States Senator come to visit us and this will also highlight native people as to who we are,” said Jereaux Sanders.