Denise Juneau is the first American Indian to win a statewide election in Montana.
Juneau, 48, Montana’s state superintendent of public instruction, also is the only Native American woman in the country to hold a statewide office – and noted that if she wins, she’ll be the first Native American woman elected to Congress. Juneau also made a brief allusion to the fact that she’s the first openly gay candidate to run for statewide office, saying her candidacy is inspiring more people to get involved in the political process. Juneau is a member of the Hidatsa and Mandan Indian tribes from North Dakota. [KTVH teevee]Montana is getting national attention for her gains in American Indian education.
In 1972, Montana added language to its constitution pledging to use education to preserve the unique cultural heritage of Native Americans. A small number of states, including South Dakota and Wisconsin, have policies emphasizing the need to teach tribal history in schools -- but no other state has a constitutional mandate about it, said Denise Juneau, the Montana superintendent of public instruction. [Indian Country Today]Juneau delivered a rousing speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and has been a solid advocate for labor.
For #WomensHistoryMonth I’m launching #NativeHERoes to highlight powerful Native American women changemakers. pic.twitter.com/Z69VLcyqoa— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) March 1, 2016