- By Levi Rickert
BISMARCK, N.D. — Dressed in her traditional regalia, Ruth Buffalo (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation) was sworn in as a state representative on Monday, December 3, 2018, at the state capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota. A Democrat, Buffalo will represent the North Dakota District 27 in the House of Representatives, traditionally a Republican district that includes Fargo, North Dakota.
Wearing her regalia was quite appropriate in that Buffalo becomes the first American Indian Democratic woman in the state legislature in North Dakota.
Equipped with three master's degrees: one in management, another in business administration and one in public health, Buffalo knocked on over 6,500 doors to gain votes. Her goal was to resonate with District 27 voters at their doors. She talked about affordable health care issues, which impacts all residents regardless of race or ethnicity.
As fate would have it, she beat the incumbent, former state Rep. Randy Boehning, who sponsored voter ID legislation that sought to suppress the Native vote in North Dakota by requiring each voter provide an ID with a physical address.
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet PAC, released the following statement after Buffalo's victory in the midterm election:
“We need more women like Buffalo in our state governments.
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.