List of Native American politicians

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This is a list of Native American politicians in the United States. These are Native Americans who served in the federal, state, or municipal governments.

Native American identity is a complex and contested issue. The Bureau of Indian Affairs defines Native American as having American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry. Legally, being Native American is defined as being enrolled in a federally recognized tribe or Alaskan village. These entities establish their own membership rules, and they vary. Each must be understood independently. Ethnologically, factors such as culture, history, language, religion, and familial kinships can influence Native American identity.[1]

All individuals on this list should have Native American ancestry. Historical figures might predate tribal enrollment practices and may be included based on reliable sources that document ethnological tribal membership. Any contemporary individuals should either be enrolled members of federally recognized tribes, or have cited Native American ancestry and be recognized as Native American by their respective tribes(s). Contemporary individuals who are not enrolled in a tribe but are documented as having tribal descent are listed as being "of descent" from a tribe.

For tribal leaders, please go to that tribe's article.

Federal offices[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Charles Curtis 1860–1936 1/8 each Kansa/Osage Nation/Potawatomi Republican US Senator from Kansas; U.S. Vice President (1929–1933)
Ely Parker 1828-1895 Seneca Nation of New York Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Grant administration
Jack Jackson, Jr. Navajo Democratic Former State Senator for AZ District 2 and Liaison to Secretary Kerry, US Department of State[2]
Kimberly Teehee Cherokee Nation Democratic White House Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs
Keith Harper Cherokee Nation Democratic U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Legislative branch[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Brad Carson 1967- Cherokee Nation Democratic U.S. Representative from Oklahoma
Robert Latham Owen 1856–1947 Cherokee Nation Democratic U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, 1907–25; candidate for Democratic Party nomination for President, 1920
William Wirt Hastings 1866–1938 Cherokee Nation Democratic U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 2nd District, 1915–21, 1923–35
Charles David Carter 1868–1929 Choctaw Indian Democratic U.S. Representative from Oklahoma, 1907-27 (4th District 1907–15, 3rd District 1915–27)
William Grady Stigler 1891–1952 Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Democratic member of Oklahoma state senate, 1924–32; U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 2nd District, 1944–52.
Benjamin Reifel 1906–1990 Rosebud Sioux Tribe Republican U.S. Representative from South Dakota 1st District, 1961–71.
Will Rogers, Jr. 1911–1993 Cherokee Nation Democratic US Representative from California
Ben Nighthorse Campbell 1933- Northern Cheyenne Republican U.S. Senator from Colorado, 1993–2005
Travis Childers 1958- Mississippi Choctaw Democratic U.S. Representative from Mississippi, 2008–2011
Tom Cole 1949- Chickasaw Nation Republican U.S. Representative from Oklahoma, 2003-present (4th District)
Markwayne Mullin 1977- Cherokee Nation Republican U.S. Representative from Oklahoma, 2013-present (2nd District)

Judicial branch[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Arvo Mikkanen Kiowa Democratic unsuccessful US District Judge nomination[3]
Diane J. Humetewa Hopi Democratic US Judge for the District of Arizona [4]

State offices[edit]

Alaska[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Albert P. Adams 1942–2012 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1981–1989, state senator 1989–2001
Billy Akers 1947–  ? Republican State representative 1977–1979
Charles G. Anderson 1929– Aleut Republican State representative 1981–1983
Nels A. Anderson 1939– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1975–1981, state senator 1982–1983
Bill Beltz 1912–1960 Inupiaq Democratic Territorial representative 1949–1951, territorial senator 1951–1959, state senator and president of the state senate 1959–1960
Ray Christiansen 1922–1998 Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1961–1967, state senator 1967–1973
Joseph Chuckwuk 1948– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1981–1983
John E. Curtis  ? Inupiaq Republican State representative 1959–1961
Larry T. Davis 1930–2006 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1975–1977
Chuck Degnan 1941–  ? Democratic State representative 1971–1975
Frank Degnan 1901–1980  ? Democratic Territorial representative 1951–1953
Bryce Edgmon 1961–  ? Democratic State representative 2007–present
Charles Fagerstrom 1905–1962 Inupiaq Democratic Territorial representative 1953–1957, state representative 1959–1961
Frank R. Ferguson 1939–2003 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1971–1975, state senator 1975–1986
Independent
Neal Foster 1972– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 2009–present
Richard Foster 1946–2009 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1989–2009
Charles Franz c. 1910–1996  ? Democratic State representative 1959–1961
Phillip Guy 1941–2011 Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1973–1981
Willie Hensley 1941– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1967–1971, state senator 1971–1975 and 1987–1989
Adelheid Herrmann 1953– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1983–1989
Jimmy Hoffman c. 1928–? Yup’ik Republican State representative 1959–1961
Lyman Hoffman 1950– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1987–1991 and 1993–1995, state senator 1991–1993 and 1995–present
Andrew Hope 1896–1968 Tlingit Democratic Territorial representative 1945–1953 and 1957–1959, state representative 1959–1963
Eben Hopson 1922–1980 Inupiaq Democratic Territorial representative 1957–1959, state senator 1959–1967
Jimmy Huntington 1916–1987 Koyukon Independent State representative 1975–1977
Percy Ipalook 1906–1990 Inupiaq Republican Territorial representative 1949–1951, territorial senator 1951–1955
Brenda Itta 1943– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1975–1977
Ivan M. Ivan 1945– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1991–1993 and 1995–1999
George Jacko 1959–  ? Democratic State representative 1989–1993, state senator 1993–1995
Axel C. Johnson 1911–1985 Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1959–1961 and 1963–1967
Frank G. Johnson 1894–1982 Tlingit Republican Territorial representative 1947–1955 and 1957–1959
Grace A. Johnson 1924–? Inupiaq Republican State representative 1962–1963
Reggie Joule 1952– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1997–2012
Sam Kito III 1964– Tlingit Democratic State representative 2014–present
Albert Kookesh 1948– Tlingit Democratic State representative 1997–2005, state senator 2005–2013
Jacob Laktonen 1917–1996  ? Republican State representative 1973–1975
Loren Leman 1950– Alutiiq Republican State representative 1989–1993, state senator 1993–2002, lieutenant governor 2002–2006
Georgianna Lincoln 1943–  ? Democratic State representative 1991–1993, state senator 1993–2005
Republican
Don Long  ? Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1996–1997
Jerry Mackie 1962– Haida Democratic State representative 1991–1997, state senator 1997–2001
Republican
Eileen Panigeo MacLean 1949–1996 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1989–1995
Byron Mallott 1943– Tlingit Democratic Commissioner of community and regional affairs 1972–1974, lieutenant governor 2014–present
Independent
Beverly Masek 1963–  ? Republican State representative 1995–2005
Martin B. Moore  ?– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1971–1973
Carl M. Morgan 1950– Yup’ik Republican State representative 1999–2005
Carl E. Moses 1929–2014 Aleut Alaskan Independence State representative 1965–1973 and 1993–2007
Democratic
Republican
Benjamin Nageak 1950– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 2013–present
Alfred Nakak 1947–2000  ? Democratic State representative 1977–1979
Ed Naughton 1930–2002  ? Democratic State representative 1971–1977
Irene Nicholia 1956– Koyukon Democratic State representative 1993–1999
John Nusunginya c. 1928–? Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1959–1963
Donny Olson 1953– Inupiaq Democratic State senator 2001–present
Alvin Osterback 1915–2005  ? Democratic State representative 1975–1981
Moses Paukan  ?– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1968–1971
William Paul 1885–1977 Tlingit Republican Territorial representative 1925–1929
Frank Peratrovich 1895–1984 Tlingit Democratic Territorial representative 1945–1947, territorial senator 1947–1951 and 1957–1959, delegate and first vice president of constitutional convention 1955–1956, state senator 1959–1967, president of the state senate 1961–1965, state representative 1969–1973
Larry Peterson 1939– Gwich'in Democratic State representative 1973–1975
John Sackett 1944– Koyukon Republican State representative 1967–1971, state senator 1973–1987
Mary Sattler 1973– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1999–2009
Leo Schaeffer 1947– Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1977–1981
Frank See 1915–1998 Tlingit Democratic State representative 1965–1969
Martin Seversen 1925–1979  ?  ? State representative 1977
Jacob Stalker 1917–c. 2008 Inupiaq Democratic State representative 1961–1967
Tony Vaska 1948– Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1981–1985
Kay Wallis 1944– Gwich'in Democratic State representative 1985–1991
Tim Wallis 1940– Gwich'in Democratic State representative 1975–1977
Jerry Ward 1948–  ? Republican State representative 1983–1985, state senator 1997–2003
James K. Wells 1906–1979 Inupiaq Democratic Territorial representative 1951–1953
John Westdahl 1918–1968 Yup’ik Democratic State representative 1967–1968
Alfred Widmark 1904–1989 Tlingit Republican State representative 1961–1963
Bill Williams 1943– Tlingit Democratic State representative 1993–2005
Republican
Jules Wright 1933– Gwich'in Republican State representative 1967–1969
Fred Zharoff 1944–2001  ? Democratic State representative 1979–1985, state senator 1985–1997

Arizona[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Carlyle Begay  ? Navajo Democratic State senator 2013–present
Republican
Jennifer Benally  ?  ? Democratic State representative 2015–present
Sally Ann Gonzales 1957–  ? Democratic State representative 1997–2001 and 2011–present
Albert Hale c. 1951– Navajo Democratic State senator 2004–2011; State representative 2011–present
Victoria Steele  ? Seneca Democratic State representative 2013–present
Jamescita Peshlakai Navajo Democratic State representative, District 7[5]

Colorado[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Joseph Salazar Democratic State representative (2013-)

Idaho[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Paulette Jordan c. 1980- Coeur d'Alene Democratic State representative (2014-)

Illinois[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Donne E. Trotter 1950- Democratic State senator (1993-); State representative (1988-1993)

Kansas[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Ponka-We Victors 1981- Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma-Tohono O'odham Democratic State representative, District 103 (2011-)[6]

Kentucky[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Reginald Meeks 1954- Democratic State representative (2000-)

Maine[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Matthew Dana II Passamaquoddy State representative (non-voting)
Wayne Mitchell Penobscot State representative (non-voting)
Henry John Bear Maliseet State representative (non-voting)

Minnesota[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Susan Allen 1963- Rosebud Indian Reservation Democratic State representative (2012-)
Peggy Flanagan 1979- White Earth Band of Ojibwe Democratic State tepresentative (2015-)

Mississippi[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Greenwood Leflore 1800–1865 Mississippi Choctaw State senator (1841-1844); Principal chief of the Choctaw

Montana[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Denise Juneau 1967- Mandan and Hidatsaa Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Carolyn Pease-Lopez Democratic State representative (2008-)
George Kipp III State representative
Rae Peppers Northern Cheyenne Tribe Democratic State representative (2013-)
Jonathan Windy Boy Chippewa-Cree Democratic State senator
Sharon Stewart-Peregoy 1953- Democratic State senator (2009-)
Lea Whitford Blackfeet Nation Democratic State senator (2015-)
G. Bruce Meyers Chippewa-Cree State representative
Susan Webber Blackfeet Nation Democratic State representative (2015-)

New Mexico[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Jack Jackson, Sr Navajo Democratic State representative[7]
Sharon Clahchischilliage Navajo Republican State representative, District 4[8]
Sandra D. Jeff Navajo Democratic State representative, District 5[9]
John Pinto Navajo Democratic State senator, District 3[10]
Ray Begaye 1954- Navajo Democratic State representative, District 4[11] (1999-2013)
Lynda Lovejoy Navajo Democratic Public Regulation Commissioner[12]
James Madalena 1948- Democratic State representative (1985-)
Patricia Roybal Caballero Democratic State representative (2013-)
Benny Shendo Democratic State senator (2013-)
Nick L. Salazar 1929- Democratic State representative, 40th District (1974-)
Georgene Louis Democratic State representative, District 26 (2013-)
Doreen Wonda Johnson State representative

North Carolina[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Charles Graham Democratic State assembly member

North Dakota[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Richard Marcellais Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Democratic State senator
Wayne Trottier State representative

Oklahoma[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Steve Burrage 1952- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Democratic State Auditor
Lisa Johnson Billy 1967- Chickasaw Nation Republican State representative, 42nd district[13]
Enoch Kelly Haney 1940- Seminole Nation Democratic State representative, 28th district
Chuck Hoskin 1952- Cherokee Nation Democratic State representative, 6th district (2007-)
Al McAffrey Choctaw Democratic State representative[13] (2007-)
Skye McNiel 1978- Muscogee Creek Nation Republican State representative, 29th district[13] (2007-2013)
Jerry McPeak Muscogee Democratic State representative (2005-)
Jerry Shoemake Cherokee Nation Democratic State representative (2005-)
Daniel Sullivan Choctaw Republican State representative (2005-)
Paul Wesselhoft Potawatomi Republican State representative (2005-)
Fred Jordan Cherokee Nation Republican State representative (2007-)
Ken Lutrell Cherokee Nation Democratic State representative (2007-)
Anatasia Pittman Seminole Democratic State representative (2007-)
T.W. Shannon Chickasaw Nation Republican State representative (2007-)
Richard Lerblanc Muscogee State senator (2003-)
Sean Burage Choctaw Democratic State senator (2006-)
John Starks Cherokee Nation State senator (2006-)
Brian Bingham Muscogee State senator (2007-)
Doug Cox Republican State representative (2005-)
William Fourkiller Democratic State representative
David Holt Osage Republican State senator (2010-)
Dan Kirby Republican State representative
Seneca Scott Democratic State representative
John Sparks Democratic State senator
Cory Williams Democratic State representative

Pennsylvania[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Barbara Smith Sac and Fox Nation Democratic State representative (2006-)

South Dakota[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Ed Iron Cloud III Oglala Sioux State representative (2009-)
Kevin Killer Oglala Sioux Democratic State representative (2009-)
Jim Bradford Oglala Sioux Democratic State senator (2013-); State representative (2001-2009)
Theresa Two Bulls Oglala Sioux Democratic State senator (2005-2009)

Utah[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
Angela Romero Democratic State representative(2013-)

Washington[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
John McCoy 1943- Tulalip Democratic State senator (2013-), State representative (2003-2013)
Jay Rodne 1966- Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Republican State representative (2004-)
Jeff Morris 1964- Tsimshian Democratic State representative (1997-)
Claudia Kauffman 1959- Nez Perce Democratic State senator (2007-2011)
Don Barlow 1938- Ottawa Democratic State representative (2007-2009)
Jim Dunn 1942- Inuit Republican State representative (1997-2003), (2005-2009)
Dino Rossi 1959- Tlingit Republican State senator (1997-2003), (2012); 2010 Republican nominee for Governor
Lois Stratton 1927- Spokane Democratic State senator (1985-1993), State representative (1980-1985)
Chief George Pierre 1926-2011 Colville Democratic State representative (1965-1967)
George Adams 1880-1954 Skokomish Democratic State representative (1933-1939), (1945-1954)
William Bishop 1861-1934 Snohomish Republican State senator (1919-1927), (1933-1934), State representative (1899-1903), (1905-1907), (1909-1911), (1917-1919)
John Tennant 1830-1893 Quapaw Territorial representative (1858-1860)

Wyoming[edit]

Name Life Ethnicity
or tribe
Party Offices held
W. Patrick Goggles Arapaho Democratic State representative (2004-2015)

Municipal offices[edit]

New Mexico[edit]

  • April J. Silversmith, Navajo Democrat (Gallup, NM Magistrate Judge[14])
  • Carol Bowman Muskett, Navajo Democrat (McKinley County, NM Commissioner District I[15])
  • Genevieve Jackson, Navajo Democrat (McKinley County, NM Commissioner District II[16])
  • Harriet K. Becenti, Navajo Democrat (McKinley County, NM Clerk[17])
  • Thommy Nelson, Navajo Democrat (McKinley County, NM Probate Judge[18])
  • Felix Begay, Navajo Democrat (McKinley County, NM Sheriff[19])
  • Earnest Becenti, Navajo Democrat (Mckinley County, NM County Treasurer[20])
  • GloJean Todacheene, Navajo Democrat (San Juan County, NM Commissioner District I[21])
  • Kenneth Maryboy, Navajo Democrat (San Juan County, UT Commission [22])

Oklahoma[edit]

Washington[edit]

Other offices[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IV. Our Nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native Citizens." US Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20130627jack-jackson-state-department.html
  3. ^ http://www.indianz.com/News/2012/004096.asp
  4. ^ http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/19/obama-nominates-native-american-woman-federal-court-151358
  5. ^ http://www.azleg.gov/MembersPage.asp?Member_ID=78&Legislature=51&Session_ID=112
  6. ^ Dennis Zotigh (21 November 2014). "Meet Native America: Ponka-We Victors, Kansas State Representative". National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  7. ^ http://navajopeople.org/blog/jack-jackson-navajo-oral-history/
  8. ^ http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislator_details.aspx?SPONCODE=HCLAH
  9. ^ http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislator_details.aspx?SPONCODE=HJEFF
  10. ^ http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislator_details.aspx?SPONCODE=SPINT
  11. ^ http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/tag/sharon-clahchischilliage/
  12. ^ http://ballotpedia.org/Lynda_Lovejoy
  13. ^ a b c "The Native American Caucus of the Oklahoma House of Representatives." Retrieved 13 Nov 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.navajotimes.com/news/2014/0114/011714warrants.php
  15. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/adding_pages.htm
  16. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/style_sheets.htm
  17. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/clerk.htm
  18. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/probatejudge.htm
  19. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/sheriff.htm
  20. ^ http://www.co.mckinley.nm.us/treasurer.htm
  21. ^ http://www.sjcounty.net/departments/electedoffices/commisioners/district-i
  22. ^ http://www.sanjuancounty.org/county_commission.htm
  23. ^ "Will Rogers Memorial Park." City of Beverly Hills. Retrieved 13 Nov 2012.

External links[edit]