Record number of Native American Women elected to Congress

While the United States of America (USA) still waiting to know who will become its next President, the 117th Congress of America will have a record number of Native American women after voters elected three to the House of Representatives.

Democrats, Sharice Davids, a Ho-Chunk Nation member representing Kansas and Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo member representing New Mexico both were re-elected after becoming the first Congressional Native American women to Parliament, in 2018.

They are joined by Yvette Herrell, who is Cherokee. 

Herrell and Haaland means New Mexico will be the first state to have two indigenous women as congressional delegates. The state also became the first to elect women of color as all three of its delegates in the US House of Representatives, The Guardian newspaper said. 

According to  the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) report, 18 indigenous women were running for congressional seats this year. 

In Kansas, Stephanie Byers, who is Chickasaw and a retired teacher, became the state’s first transgender lawmaker when she won her race for a seat in its house of representatives.

“We’ve made history here,” Byers said. “We’ve done something in Kansas most people thought would never happen, and we did it with really no pushback, by just focusing on the issues.”

In Kansas, Christina Haswood, a Navajo Nation member, became the youngest person in the state legislature at 26. A third member of the Kansas house, Ponka-We Victors, a Tohono O’odham and Ponca member, won her re-election campaign.

The US House of Representatives will have its highest number of indigenous representatives after Tuesday’s election, according to the Indian Country Today newspaper.

Recent U.S. Census estimates note that women who identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native alone or in combination with other races represent about 1.1% of the U.S. population. In 2020, women in this group are 0.7% of all candidates for the U.S. House, with nearly equal representation among Democratic and Republican House candidates, said the Center for American Women and Politics. 


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