Congresswomen Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation representing the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas, have introduced an historic resolution recognizing Native American women for Women’s History Month. They did so on March 6, alongside 19 original cosponsors, including Native American Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. It is the first time a resolution recognizing Native American women has been introduced in the U.S. House.
The resolution honors the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States. It also calls attention to the challenges that disproportionately affect women in Native communities including the wage gap disparity and domestic violence that contribute to the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.
“Women’s History month is all about recognizing the contributions women have made to this country while recommitting ourselves to fight for equality. My resolution honors the stories and contributions of Native American women which are often left out of the conversation. By giving a voice to a whole group of women who have never had a voice in Congress, we’re also drawing attention to the struggles and challenges our community still faces,” said Rep. Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Native American Caucus and one of the first Native American women serving in Congress.
“Every March, we come together to celebrate women who have shaped our nation’s history, and those who continue to pave the way for future generations. Native American women are not always thought of in that celebration, so I’m proud to partner with Rep. Haaland to make sure we remember all that Native American women have contributed to our society, to advocate for Native women, and to work on the issues impacting our communities,” said Rep. Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women serving in Congress.
“For more than three decades, the month of March has been dedicated to shining light on the numerous and lasting contributions of American women throughout our nation’s history. Each year, I think of the women in my own family and the legacies they left behind. In particular, I remember my great aunt Te Ata Fisher, a gifted Native American storyteller who made an extraordinary impact on the arts throughout her lifetime. And I always think of and treasure the example of my mother, Helen Cole, who was the first Native American woman elected to the Oklahoma State Senate and whose influence guided my own path into politics. This year as we observe Women’s History Month, I am proud of the tremendous history recently added by Congresswomen Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids—the first Native American women ever elected to Congress,” said Rep. Tom Cole, Co-Chair of the Native American Caucus.
The full text of the resolution is available here.