Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant


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Good morning.

A quick update. So a reader points out that I really ought to include Debora Juarez in this list (and in the broader review of Native women in office). And it’s a spot on suggestion.

So I have added Juarez and a couple of county commissioners I know about … but there should be more. Please let me know about women serving on city councils, as mayors, county commissions, etc. Montana? South Dakota? Alaska?

Do you know of any Native women who are elected as city and county officials that should be included? Thank you.

I am working on a piece about Native American women who were elected to office at the state (or, I wish, at the federal) level.

**City of Seattle Council Member Debora Juarez Blackfeet NP
***Coconio County, Arizona Board of Supervisors Lena Fowler Navajo D
***McKinley County, New Mexico County Commission Carolyn Bowman-Muskett Navajo D
***McKinley County, New Mexico County Commission Genevieve Jackson Navajo D

This is my spreadsheet. Please take a look and let me know if anyone is missing.

I have identified 62 American Indian or Alaska Natives in state legislatures — 25 women (40 percent) and 37 men (60 percent). As a comparison, nationally, women make up just under a quarter of all elected legislative seats. (1,363 members or 24.4 percent).  And that means Native American women are 1.834 percent of the women who serve in office.

Also eight Native American women have run for Congress and two have run for the vice presidency.

I am planning a story and an interactive graphic for the weekend. (It’s taking me longer than I planned. I keep getting distracted by the frenetic pace of the Trump administration.

Thanks for any help (or ideas). — Mark

3 thoughts on “Updated numbers: A look at Native American women elected to office

  1. Debora Juarez fan says:

    Please add Debora Juarez, elected to the Seattle City Council in 2015. She represents District 5, the north end of Seattle, Washington. Councilmember Juarez is a proud member of the Blackfeet tribe and grew up on the Puyallup Reservation.

  2. Joanne Foster says:

    Not sure if you are looking at currently serving or serving at any time, Mark. Check out Claudia Kaufman.

    1. Mark Trahant says:

      Thanks, Joanne. This is just current elected but I’m a big fan of Sen. Kauffman.

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