Despite her claims, Rep. Buffalo is not the first female Native American elected to the Legislature


MINOT, N.D. — “In 2018, I became the first Native woman elected to the North Dakota Legislature,” writes state Rep. Ruth Buffalo in a recent letter to the editor .

The full letter from the Fargo Democrat is worth your time to read because it highlights an important issue. Specifically, the struggles against HIV in our Native American communities.

It’s unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising given how central things like race and gender are to how Democrats see the world, that Buffalo would lead off a letter about such an important issue with some rank identity politics.

All the more so because her claim is just not true.

Rep. Dawn Marie Charging, from Garrison at that time, served in the North Dakota Legislature from 2005 to 2008 as a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation. She was, per her legislative biography, the “First American Indian to serve ND Legislature from Three Affiliated Tribes,” which makes her the first female Native American to serve as well.

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