Record Number Of Native American Women Were Elected To Congress In The 2020 U.S. Elections

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Record Number Of Native American Women Were Elected To Congress In The 2020 US Elections

Amid the chaotic, disputed and hyper-partisan race to the White House this year, which saw Joe Biden become the president-elect, some things were overlooked. In particular, the amazing success of Native American women candidates who are now more represented in the halls of power than ever before.

Three of these candidates won seats in the House. After nine Democrats and nine Republicans ran nationwide, this compares to just two running in 2018.

Among those winning seats were Democrat Deb Haaland who won in New Mexico and fellow Democrat Ho-Chunk Nation who won in Kansas. Republican Yvette Herrell also won a seat in New Mexico.

Other electoral successes include Christina Hawswood, who at 26 became the youngest representative in the Kansas legislature, and Ponka-We Victors who was re-elected to the same legislature. Democrat Stephanie Byers, of the Chickasaw Nation, became the first transgender person to sit in the legislature in Kansas.

Byers told the Wichita Eagle newspaper:

"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."

Native Americans suffer from vastly higher levels of poverty than other American citizens. This is in large part due to their historical exclusion from society and a history that saw their land confiscated and their peoples forced onto reservations. On such reservations, the Native American people have often lacked access to basic education, housing and resources.

It is estimated that around 1 in 3 Native Americans now live in poverty. A number of high-profile campaigns over recent years have seen Native American communities fighting back against both state and federal government decisions. This includes the long-campaign to stop the Dakota access oil pipe-line that would have passed directly through Native American territory.

In July 2020, after a huge campaign that involved a sit-in lasting months a judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline be shut down. Chairman Mike Faith of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said of the decision:

"Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline. This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning."

Such campaigns show the importance of getting Native American voices into the highest levels of US Government policy making.

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Thinking Humanity: Record Number Of Native American Women Were Elected To Congress In The 2020 U.S. Elections
Record Number Of Native American Women Were Elected To Congress In The 2020 U.S. Elections
Amid the chaotic, disputed and hyper-partisan race to the White House this year, which saw Joe Biden become the president-elect, some things were over
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