WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Martin Heinrich introduced a resolution to celebrate and honor the successes of indigenous women across the country. This resolution recognizes the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States, highlighting the importance of promoting equity, providing safety, and upholding the interests of strong, diverse women.
“During Women’s History Month, let us reflect on the contributions, the service, and the sacrifices of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women – enriching their communities and the United States as a whole,” said Udall. “I am proud to work with Senator Heinrich on this resolution to lift up the accomplishments of so many groundbreaking Native women – including Native New Mexican women like Santa Clara Pueblo’s Floy Agnes Lee, who pioneered radiation biology research, and Ohkay Owingeh’s Esther Martinez, who dedicated her life to Native language revitalization. As vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I will continue to fight for legislation and policies that will honor the legacy of their work and ensure future generations of Native women have the tools, rights, and opportunities they need to thrive.”
“From leaders like Ohkay Owingeh’s Esther Martinez and Santa Clara’s Floy Agnes Lee to Congresswoman Deb Haaland, New Mexico’s Native women have long shaped history and continue to impact the foundation of America,” said Heinrich. “It is important that we acknowledge the immeasurable contributions and accomplishments of Native women. I’m proud to cosponsor this resolution to honor the legacy of Native women leaders and will continue to ensure the voices of diverse women have equal recognition in history.”
In 2018, Udall and Heinrich introduced a similar resolution honoring indigenous women that later passed the Senate unanimously.
In addition to Udall and Heinrich, the resolution is sponsored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) and cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono; (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The full text of the resolution is available HERE.
- Whereas American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women have played a vital role in advancing civil rights, protecting human rights, and safeguarding the environment, including Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich of the Tlingit Nation who helped secure the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945 of the Alaska Territory, the first anti-discrimination law in the United States.
- Whereas American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women have succeeded as judges, attorneys, and legal advocates, including Eliza “Lyda” Conley, a Wyandot-American lawyer and the first Native woman admitted to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court in 1909.
- Whereas American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women have achieved distinctive honors in the art of dance, including Maria Tall Chief of the Osage Nation the first major prima ballerina of the United States and was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center.
- Whereas American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women have paved the way for women in the law, including Native Hawaiian Emma Kailikapiolono Metcalf Beckley Nakuina who served as the first female judge in Hawaii.