March 24, 2021

Murkowski, Schatz Legislation Recognizing Native Women Achievements and Contributions Passes Senate

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution led by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, honoring the achievements of Native women throughout American history and present day.


“Each year during March, the Senate celebrates National Women’s History Month. It is especially important to recognize the many achievements that Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian women have contributed to the United States and its history. These are just some of the women who have made their communities and this nation a better place and for that, we honor them, whether through their military or public service, their advancements in the fields of business, education, arts, law, and sciences, or their efforts in protecting traditional ways of life,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “It should be noted that this year we have added two strong, resilient Alaska Native women.  The resolution recognizes Ahtna Athabascan Katie John of Mentasta Lake, who was the lead plaintiff in lawsuits that strengthened Native subsistence fishing rights in Alaska and helped in creating the first alphabet for the Ahtna language. Another addition is Mary Jane Fate of the Koyukon Athabascan village of Rampart. She was the first woman to chair the Alaska Federation of Natives, a founding member of the North American Indian Women’s Association, an advocate for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and the first Alaska Native to serve on the Alaska Judicial Council. We remember and celebrate the ways they and the other women in the resolution have paved the way for future generations.”


“As we celebrate Women’s History month, it’s critical that we acknowledge the impacts Native women in particular have had on our shared American history – including Mary Kawena Pukui, a noted scholar and Native Hawaiian linguist, and Kaahumanu, a champion of Native Hawaiian women in leadership, and so many others,” said Chairman Schatz. “I’m proud to partner with Senator Murkowski to honor Native American women and their legacies in this resolution.”


In addition to Vice Chairman Murkowski and Chairman Schatz, the following 33 senators are co-sponsors to the resolution: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO),  Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King, Jr. (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).


Click here for full text of the resolution.