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About Us

Our Mission

Advance Native Political Leadership is the first and only national Native American-led organization working to address the vast disparity and unique barriers that exist for Indigenous peoples in U.S. politics.

Our theory of change is that when Native peoples and communities have access to national networks, innovative tools for community organizing, strategies for civic and voter engagement, and pathways to leadership, we inherently advance all of our communities’ health and wellbeing.

Advance Native Political Leadership was founded to address the need for increased Native American representation in elected and appointed office at all levels across the country.

Our Background

In 2015, with funding from the Women Donors Network, we conducted a series of interviews and focus groups to better understand the challenges and barriers to political power and elected leadership for Native Americans, which included:

  • Voting rights
  • Financial constraints
  • Gender issues
  • Racism and implicit bias
  • Data barriers
  • History of relationship with the federal government
  • Lack of a national infrastructure
  • Lack of research

Advance aims to address these barriers and serve as a political home for Native peoples living on and off tribal lands across the United States.

Read our Report

WHO WE ARE

Advance Native Political Leadership is an Indigenous woman-led organization working to expand equity and representation for Native peoples in U.S. politics. Our team is comprised of staff, co-founders and strategic advisors from across the country.

Meet our Team

Timeline

2015

Joined WDN’s Reflective Democracy Cohort and initiated key informant interviews and focus groups to better understand the unique challenges and barriers to political power and elected leadership for Native Americans.

2016

Released first ever national landscape analysis addressing the strengths, structural barriers, and opportunities to getting Native Americans into elected leadership.

2016

Co-founded Advance Native Political Leadership with Chrissie Castro, Anathea Chino, Kevin Killer, and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

2017

Organized over 1,000 Indigenous women to attend the historic Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in partnership with Indigenous Women Rise, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Voice Network, and the Continental Network of Indigenous Women in the Americas North American Region. Chrissie and Anathea were co-founders of Indigenous Women Rise.

2017

Convened Native leaders for a National Native Political Strategy Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

2018

Held first-ever national Native Power Building Summit in Albuquerque, NM, bringing together 120 Native candidates, elected officials, political operatives, organizers, strategists, youth advocates, allies, and funders from across the country for the first time in history to discuss, analyze, and strategize about how to build Native political power in 2018 and beyond.

2019

Launched the first-of-its-kind data fellowship pilot for emerging Indigenous leaders to address the gap in data and digital organizing capacity in Indian Country. Our data fellows contributed to the largest contingent of Native people ever in attendance at Netroots Nation in Philadelphia, PA.

2019

Brought together Indigenous political trainers and leaders to develop a 2020 strategy and plan to strengthen our organizational capacity.

2020

Hired our first staff and launched our 501c3 fund, Advance Native Political Leadership Education Fund, and an affiliated state PAC, Native Power PAC.

2020

Launched the Build Native Power Learning Cohort, a national network of state-based Native civic engagement organizations, to create a space for collaboration, training, and sharing resources.

2020

Created a coalition of national Native organizations and leaders to align on a national strategy and messaging to build collective power for Native people and communities.

2020

Held our second national Native Power Building Summit online, to safely gather Native organizers, elected officials, strategists, allies, and other leaders to learn, share, and prepare to take action to build Native power in 2020 and beyond. More than 600 people from around the country registered to attend the 5-hour virtual convening.