Breaking News. History was made on Wednesday when Alaska Native Mary Peltola, a Democrat, was elected to fill Alaska's congressional at-large seat that has been vacant since longtime Congressman Don Young died unexpectedly in March, 2022.
Peltola, who is Yup’ik, made history because she is the first Alaska Native member of Congress, as well as the first Democratic woman to represent Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives and only the fifth person to represent the state in the House since Alaska gained statehood in 1959.
Peltola beat former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the special election. In the special election, Peltola garnered 51.5 percent of the vote to Palin’s 48.5 percent. Palin, a Republican, had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who campaigned for her in the state. Republican candidate Nick Begich III finished third in voting.
The election victory was a 49th birthday present for Peltola, who was born on August 31, 1973.
Peltola will be sworn in on September 13, 2022 and will serve in Congress until the end of the current term. She will have to run for re-election in the midterm election on November 8, 2022.
Peltola was elected at age 24 to represent the Bethel region in the state House of Representatives. She served in that seat for a decade, from 1999 until 2009. She and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) entered the state legislature the same year, and Peltola said that she's respected Murkowski ever since.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story.
More Stories Like ThisInterior Secretary Deb Haaland Visits the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
History Was Made as Nicole Aunapu Mann Became the First Native American Woman Launched into Space
Tribal Business News Round Up: Oct. 4
Hurricane Ian Slams Southwest Florida, But Mostly Spares Reservations
Department of the Interior Announces South Dakota Third Stop on Road to Healing Tour
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.