On Friday March 26 the hearing for ND SB 1397-redistricting was held in Bismarck, ND. In reviewing this public hearing comments, listen here
At 11:13 in this video Jordan Kennianen’s (Senate District 4) speaks. He talks about how he could be snarky and say that, North Dakota Native Vote campaigned against him this last election but he’s willing to help our people. North Dakota Native Vote works on all reservations in North Dakota and will always support Native leadership to create fair representation for our communities. Leadership is about rising above pettiness and hurt feelings.
This is not about Jordan’s hurt feelings. This is about having Indigenous voices at the table. Non-natives are going to assume they know what we need and want. They have no clue. They never take the time to know us to understand our beliefs, our traditions, our spirituality, and cultures that have been here for hundreds of generations. To get to know our people, you need to visit our people outside of election time, not only when you want our vote.
Having our own tribal representative will help ease the racism and stereotyping in North Dakota. One that knows our history, culture, and what issues are important to our people and why.
I was Senator Kennianen’s opponent who ran for District 4 senate as a Democrat. I experienced the racial divide in the election, with all of the non-native people voting for my opponent and my people on Ft. Berthold voting for me.
Redistricting needs to happen with each North Dakota tribe having their own representation. Our elected representatives should consult our people on these bills that will affect our communities for the next 10 years.
Enrolled Citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation