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Three North Dakota women form a Native American Caucus

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:45 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Three women in North Dakota have created a Native American Caucus.

Three members of the Three Affiliated Tribes came together to form a Native American caucus group within North Dakota’s Democratic-NPL party.

The caucus will give indigenous communities increased representation in state politics.

Prairie Rose Seminole, a policy analyst and former state House candidate, said the formation of the Native American Caucus is a long time coming.

“We had folks convening on our call a couple weeks ago that have said: ‘I’ve been waiting 30 years for this.' That’s my lifetime. How long do we have to wait? And I don’t want future generations to have to wait anymore,” said Prairie Rose Seminole.

Prairie Rose was joined by Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, and President of Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Twyla Baker, in bringing the caucus application to the Democratic-NPL Party.

In a statement, Buffalo said, “There is value in knowing who our neighbors are."

Twyla Baker joined her saying she hopes the caucus “provides political education needed for more relational governance.”

The state democratic party unanimously approved the application Saturday and more than forty members have joined the caucus' efforts.

“Community leaders are stepping up to carry on the important work of organizing Native Americans across the state who deserve a stronger say,” said Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen.

Caucus leaders said every tribe across the state is represented, but it’s not just about them.

“Our goals...they’re not just to serve Native people. they’re going to be serving the greater good with the greater population of North Dakota. And I can only just hope that we’re going to do good work together,” said Seminole.

Seminole said engaging with both native and non-native communities into the future will foster a culture of understanding.

The Democratic-NPL’s newly formed Native American Caucus will be working towards developing their governing structure in the coming weeks.

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