Good News from INDN’s List

Dear INDN Friend:

INDN’s List made history this year with 23 American Indian candidates from 11 states and 17 tribes won their state and local elections, which we could not have done without your support.

Denise Juneau (Three Affiliated Tribes), who is the first American Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana and only the third tribal member ever elected statewide, is the Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect in Montana, winning 50.68% of the vote, with 99% of precincts reporting. Denise and her staff attended INDN Campaign Camp in 2007, where she was trained on all aspects of campaigning.  Throughout the campaign, Juneau faced down anti-Indian rhetoric, and was the first Indian woman to run state wide and face anti-Indian scorn.

We told you about her opponent dismissing her as a “young Indian,” and you responded.  Your financial support helped her get out her positive message to the people of Montana, and yesterday, they responded.

This is not just an historic year for America, but for Indian Country as we elected more tribal members to state and local office than ever before.  In 2006, we elected 20 American Indians, and in 2008 we elected 23.  Because of our efforts at INDN’s List, tribal members are engaged at all levels of government in an unprecedented manner.

Your help and support made history in Indian Country, and in elected offices across our country.

In the South Dakota State House, two Campaign Camp alumni, Kevin Killer and Ed Iron Cloud III, won both seats in District 27, gaining Democratic seats there.  They both attended INDN Campaign Camp 2007, and they are both enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  

In Pennsylvania, Barbara McIlvaine Smith (Sac & Fox) won after being targeted by Republicans.  She won the seat narrowly in 2006, when we first endorsed her, and flipped control of the PA State House to the Democrats.  Last night, she was victorious again.

Todd Gloria (Tlingit-Haida) won his San Diego City Council race at the age of 30, becoming the youngest member on the Council, and giving Democrats a 5-3 advantage.

With winners in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming, and 23 out of 37 endorsed candidates winning, INDN’s List has an impressive 69% total win rate because of you.

By assisting American Indians with achieving elected office, we are ensuring that issues that affect Indian Country are heard in state legislatures, city halls, and county jails and courthouses across the country.

It was a bittersweet evening as not all of our candidates were successful.  We have tremendous respect for our first time INDN candidates who challenged Republican incumbents but came up short.  

Our hearts are particularly heavy as we lost 2 excellent advocates for Indian Country, with the losses of Representative Scott BigHorse in Oklahoma and Representative Don Barlow in Washington.  They will be deeply missed in their state’s legislative chambers.  Scott and Don have been champions of progressive causes and outstanding role models and leaders for all of Indian Country.  Unfortunately, they were attacked and defeated for being just that.  If they stand again, INDN’s List will proudly stand with them.

Together, we made history.  Together, we helped twenty-three American Indians achieve victory.  Together, we will do even more in two years.

None of this would have been possible without you, the INDN team, supporting our efforts with your consistent donations.  A very special thank you to Forest County Potawatomi Community for their generous investment in the future of Indian Country.

Thank you for your incredible support.


Kalyn Free

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About Neeta Lind

Neeta Lind is a tribally enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. In 2006, she founded Native American Netroots, an online forum for the discussion of political, social and economic issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the United States, including their lack of political representation, economic deprivation, health care issues, and the on-going struggle for preservation of identity and cultural history. Neeta has led the Native American Caucus at Netroots Nation for six years. Her blogging at Daily Kos in 2010 caught the attention of Keith Olbermann, who focused two segments of MSNBC's “Countdown” on the winter ice storm disaster in South Dakota that devastated the Lakota reservations. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised to help these tribes as a result. She is co-editor of the Daily Kos series “First Nations News & Views.” Neeta, who blogs under the moniker "navajo" also organizes regional in-person Daily Kos events to facilitate future political actions throughout the nation. She is an Urban Indian living the San Francisco Bay Area.