South Dakota Disttrict 21 candidate in June 21 primary elections for the state House of Representatives Faith Spotted Eagle stands with her daughter Brook Spotted Eagle at a public event for children, who she calls “my favorite group of people.” Photo by Roxann Murray

Native Sun News Today: A record number of Indian women are running for office

Record number of Indian women running for office

Faith Spotted Eagle takes out petition to run in District 21
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

PIERRE – When Faith Spotted Eagle filed her election petition to run for South Dakota Dist. 21 Representative here on March 27, she joined an historic number of Native American women running for office in the United States in 2018. What’s more, she joined a record slate of Oceti Sakowin campaigning for the state legislature this year.

A longtime member of a traditional treaty council government, Spotted Eagle told the Native News Today she sees her venture into mainstream politics as part of a trend across Indian country toward diversification in the traditional sense.

“Because we are reaching beyond binary leadership, things are not just black and white and either/or,” she said.

“Indigenous peoples can be state, traditional and international actors. In the old days, we did all of the above, even to the point of our Iroquois Confederacy tribal relatives assisting the colonists with the U.S. Constitution.”


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Among new faces from tribal communities in 2018 state races are Sisseton Wahpeton tribal members Democratic Party candidate Allison Renville for Senate and unopposed Republican Tamara St. John for House of Representatives, both in District 1.

In District 26, Democrat Troy Heinert of Mission seeks to return to the statehouse with his 2018 Senate bid.

The District 26A race pits Rep. Shawn Bordeaux and Troy “Luke” Lunderman of Mission against each other in the Democratic primary contest for the Legislature’s lower chamber, with no Republicans running.

In District 27, veteran lawmaker Jim Bradford and challenger Red Dawn Foster compete in the Democratic Party primary race for Senate.

District 27 Democrats in the primary race for House of Representatives are Peri Pourier of Pine Ridge, Margaret Ross of Porcupine, and Nicole Little White Man of Kyle, while Rep. Steve Livermont of Martin and Rep. Elizabeth May of Kyle are both running again in the Republican contest.

May 21 is the deadline for registering to vote in the primaries. Anyone 18 years or older can complete a voter registration form at the county branch of the State Auditor’s office at no cost.

For detailed information, visit the South Dakota Secretary of State website.

Contact Talli Nauman at

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