Advance Native Political Leadership was created to address the need for increased Native American representation in elected and appointed offices at all levels throughout the country.
Historical, legal, and contemporary factors affect the level and depth of engagement of Native Americans, especially Native women, in the political system, contributing to drastic underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples as elected leaders at every level of government.
According to 2020 U.S. Census data and our own research, Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian peoples make up just 0.03% of elected officials, whereas we represent at least 3.4% of the total U.S. population. In order to reach representational parity in elected office alone, we need to elect more than 17,000 Indigenous leaders at all levels of government.
Investment in increasing Native American representation in elected offices is a critical endeavor for securing a reflective democracy for all Americans–one in which the country benefits from the leadership and talents of Native peoples and is responsive to the assets and issues of Native citizens.
Native Americans have a complex relationship with the federal government, and advocating to protect our sovereignty is an inherent part of our lives. Threats to our land, our communities, our culture, and our sovereignty are unique to Indigenous peoples in the United States. We aim to pursue racial and gender equity in the composition of those in positions of power, and to ensure that the values, experiences, and contributions of Indigenous peoples are no longer silenced and ignored.
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