Kansas, New Mexico elect nation’s first Native American women to Congress

Deb Haaland: First Native American woman elected to Congress

Deb Haaland will be replacing fellow Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico; Grisham's electoral seat was vacated after she made a decision to contest for governor, while Sharice Davids will Kansas GOP Representative Kevin Yoder's electoral seat.

Another fact that makes Sharice Davids win both unique and liberating is that she identifies as a lesbian; which also makes her the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas.

Tlaib ran unopposed in her race to represent Michigan's 17th district and has become the nation's first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, and one of two Muslim women elected on Tuesday. Polis is also the state's first Jewish governor.

My grandmother was born and raised at Laguna Pueblo, and as I watched Tuesday night's returns come in, I imagined how she would have reacted to the sight of Haaland and Davids marching on Washington, D.C. These women refused to be silenced despite coming from humble origins, and their fortitude and resilience make them so recognizable to me. "I have never seen myself in that body of our government".

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in the June congressional primary in NY shook up Washington and the Democratic Party.

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The 1924 Snyder Act entitled US -born Native Americans to full citizenship and the right to vote, but the Constitution left it up to each individual state to decide just who was allowed to enter the voting booth.

Election Night 2018 turned out to be a night of firsts - with groundbreaking victories for Native American, Muslim, black, gay and female candidates.

Davids ran on a very solidly democratic platform focused on pushing back on Trump, gun control, and expanding health care.

New Mexico was the last state to enfranchise Native Americans. They were granted the right to vote in 1962, almost 40 years after they were granted citizenship.

"It is such a historic time for native women. Her winning tonight will break the glass ceiling for future generations, for future young native women and girls", Mellor Willie, co-founder of 7Gen Leaders, told Time Magazine.

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