Rad Reading: "Advance Native Political Leadership"

by Abaki Beck

This weeks reading is in honor of Native American Heritage Month and in recognition of the U.S. elections taking place today.

Text: “Advance Native Political Leadership: Addressing the strengths, structural barriers and opportunities to getting Native Americans into elected leadership”

Authors: Chrissie Castro, Anathea Chino, Laura Harris

Quote to Highlight: “By granting Natives citizenship, many federal, state and local politicians called on Native peoples to deny their tribal identity and citizenship. Yet, citizenship also bore an opportunity for Native peoples to have a stake in American government, whose policies had a tremendous impact on their nations and communities.”

Quick Summary: Across the country, communities of color are gravely underrepresented in our political leadership - in fact, 90% of all elected officials, from county to federal level, are white. This report is a study of Native Americans in elected positions. Through interviews with Native American leaders throughout the nation, it explores barriers in getting Native Americans elected, solutions to address these barriers, and the benefits of recruiting and supporting Native Americans to run for elected positions. It provides historical context to Native American’s political status in the United States, as well as provides contemporary resources that empower Native American leaders. Some of the barriers they note include voting rights (access to polling places), financial resources to campaign, and racism and assumptions of incompetence.

File it under: Native Americans, settler-colonialism, politics

Type of text: Report

Read the report HERE

POC Online Classroom celebrates the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a series that highlights texts to read, writers to support, and ideas to discuss. We post every Tuesday!