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On Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday, October 9, a program that works to increase the Native Vote is being honored with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) award for excellence in service in the community.

Make Voting a Tradition is a program of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The award will be presented by Secretary of State of Minnesota Steve Simon during the Indigenous Voter Registration Celebration Day on October 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the American Indian OIC.

The event will share voter education material with the Indigenous community and will feature Aztec dancers, balloon twisters, drawings for gift cards and traditional lacrosse sticks, face painting, info tables, vendors, speakers, and swag.

“We are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day and Indigenous Voter Registration Day to empower our people, " Jolene Jones, Make Voting A Tradition Minnesota Coordinator, said in a statement. "The fact that we are still here, after government-sponsored forced assimilation and genocide, is our victory. For Native people to engage in the political process is us using our voices.”

Laws that make voting more difficult often have a disproportionate impact on Native American voters. Many communities find voting difficult and inaccessible due to inadequate investment in voting resources and infrastructure on reservations. Some laws even take direct aim at services Native American voters rely heavily on to overcome these barriers. 

 Native American voters have the potential to become political forces. According to the Native American Rights Fund, 66 percent of the known eligible Native American voting population is registered to vote. 

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