U.S. Congress gains & loses Indigenous representation
Watching Brecheen, Cole, Davids, Grey Bull, Herrell, Kahele, Mullin, Peltola and Teehee.
WASHINGTON — As of this writing, there will be 4 to 5 enrolled tribal citizens serving in the U.S. Congress when its 118th session begins in January.
There are currently 5 tribal citizens serving in the 117th Congress, which equates to .93 percent representation in the 535-member body. Indigenous peoples currently make up approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population.
Low Indigenous representation has been a given of American politics since the establishment of the U.S. government. Only in recent years, with the increase in tribal campaign finance donations (which have increased alongside tribal gaming) and Native lobbying, has American Indian representation grown. At the same time, some non-Native legislators have become increasingly interested in Indian affairs.
Of note this election cycle, Native Americans will have a tribal representative serving in the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2005.
There will be no Native Hawaiian representation.
If U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) can hold on to her current lead, there will be one Alaska Native in the U.S. House.
Here’s a breakdown of the Indigenous wins and losses on the U.S. congressional stage in the midterms 2022:
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