Hidden History of North Dakota

Celebrating Women: new legislator makes her mark

Bismarck, ND – This week, a freshman lawmaker reached a new milestone. Governor Doug Burgum signed one of Representative Ruth Buffalo’s bills into law. And there could be more to come.

Monday, December 3rd, Representative Ruth Buffalo (D-District 27), a member of the MHA Nation, was sworn in as the first Native American, female democrat to get elected to the state house.

“I’m still learning and there’s so much work to be done. I do feel that I hit the ground running,” she said.

In her first session, Representative Buffalo is the primary sponsor on 8 bills.

“If you look at all the bills I’ve introduced, it’s mainly looking at keeping our communities safe and looking at our most vulnerable: our women and children,” she said.

Only one of those 8 bills has failed so far.

“she’s done very well,” said Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director, Scott Davis. “For those bills to get passed, coming from freshmen legislators in a minority group, you’re going to need bipartisan sponsorship on that.”

A number of the bills address native american issues. Governor Doug Burgum signed one of her bills that will allow Native American students to wear eagle feathers and plumes during graduation.

“Her just having a seat at the table and making our voices heard and other North Dakotans’ voices heard that have been underrepresented is a great thing,” Sheridan McNeil said. McNeil testified in favor of the dress code change.

Three other bills specifically address the problem of missing and murdered people.

“I feel like I’m just doing what’s asked of me. People approach me. It doesn’t matter which nationality. I’m here to represent all North Dakotans and the demographics here in North Dakota are changing,” Rep. Buffalo said.

Her work on the issue even sent her to Washington DC last week to testify on behalf of Savanna’s Act. She said Savanna Greywinds case continues to inspire her work as a lawmaker. Rep. Buffalo was involved in the search efforts when Greywind was still missing.

“Having experienced that first hand, it definitely has sparked a constant reminder that we must do better,” she said.

Another one of her bills was passed on Friday. It aims to improve law enforcement training regarding missing and murdered Native Americans. It still needs the governor’s signature.
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

What is the difference between high and low pressure in weather?

Thumbnail for the video titled "What is the difference between high and low pressure in weather?"

Amber's Wednesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 2/19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Wednesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 2/19"

Wednesday Forecast: Sunny & cold before a big warm-up

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday Forecast: Sunny & cold before a big warm-up"

Big and Loud Program

Thumbnail for the video titled "Big and Loud Program"

High School basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "High School basketball"

Mandan-Minot girls hockey

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mandan-Minot girls hockey"

Shiloh Christian Boys Bball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Shiloh Christian Boys Bball"

St. Mary's Girls Bball

Thumbnail for the video titled "St. Mary's Girls Bball"

Hettinger-Scranton

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hettinger-Scranton"

Boys Hockey

Thumbnail for the video titled "Boys Hockey"

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Minot Bike Lanes

Thumbnail for the video titled "Minot Bike Lanes"

Coronavirus in Animals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus in Animals"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader"

Remarkable Woman

Thumbnail for the video titled "Remarkable Woman"

Fish Kill

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fish Kill"

Hemp Flowers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hemp Flowers"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 2/18

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 2/18"

Spill

Thumbnail for the video titled "Spill"

Standing Rock Head Start

Thumbnail for the video titled "Standing Rock Head Start"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge