March 29, 2018

Senators Udall and Murkowski Introduce Legislation Honoring Native Women

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a resolution recognizing the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States. This legislation recognizes the importance of promoting equity, providing safety, and upholding the interests of strong, diverse women in this country.
“Generations of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women have inspired and helped pave the way for leaders, teachers, artists, professionals, activists, thinkers, scientists, and public servants who have shaped every aspect of the American experience,” said Senator Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “This resolution honors the achievements of these groundbreaking women and recognizes their countless contributions to the U.S., their Tribes, and their Native communities. As we honor the legacy of these great Native leaders during National Women’s History Month, we should also recommit ourselves to ensuring that all Native women have equal access to the resources and rights that many others take for granted. Current and future generations of Native women deserve nothing less.”
“Thirty years ago, Congress passed legislation declaring March as Women’s History Month in the United States. But I feel it is necessary that we do more to honor and celebrate the Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian women and their tremendous impacts on tribal nations, Native communities, and America. Alaska native women have fought to defend the sovereignty of Alaska’s tribal nations, preserved their heritage and culture in the face of a history of threatened existence, and have paved the way for progress, “said Murkowski. “Before women were allowed to enroll in the armed services, Alaska Native women were volunteering for the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II. Before the United States had adopted any kind of anti-discrimination law, Elizabeth Peratrovich secured the passage of the Alaska Territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945. I am proud to honor the amazing Alaska Native women that have been warriors, committed leaders, civil rights activists, and so much more.”
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released the following statement in support of this legislation.
“The National Congress of American Indians is proud to support this resolution honoring Native women, who have always played an integral role in sustaining tribal cultures and community life. From Sarah Winnemucca to Helen Peterson to Wilma Mankiller, Native women have led tribal nations’ efforts to exercise their inherent sovereignty and create brighter futures for their peoples. We thank the United States Senate for acknowledging and honoring Native women and the immeasurable contributions they have made and continue to make.”
Additional bill cosponsors:
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND); Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA); Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT); Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN); Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV); Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI); Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM); Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT); Sen. James Lankford (R-OK); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA); Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT)