FARGO — North Dakota District 27 Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, has been named the 2019 Woman of the Year by the North Dakota Women's Network (NDWN).
Buffalo, a native of Mandaree, N.D., was elected to office in 2018. In her first session in the legislature, seven of the eight bills she introduced passed and became law. Those bills include policies surrounding missing and murdered indigenous people and human trafficking. She is also a citizen of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and descendant of the Chiricahua band of Apache.
A banquet will be held Friday, Sept. 13, in Fargo to celebrate her work. The Woman of the Year Banquet will kick off the NDWN Annual Meeting. In addition to the banquet, the NDWN Annual Meeting will include a variety of education sessions on issues facing women and NDWN board elections. The education sessions and elections will be held Saturday, Sept. 14 at the same location.
Buffalo's background is in public health, education and research. After receiving her bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, she served her rural tribal community as a substance abuse prevention coordinator where she built and enhanced community coalitions in six different communities.
Her work includes research and advocacy, community capacity-building and continued reconciliation efforts through education. She has served on advisory councils focused on women’s health, women’s leadership and local food systems.
Buffalo is an alumni of several women’s leadership initiatives and worked on a women-led project to increase civic engagement throughout North Dakota. She also serves as a mentor. In 2017, she successfully completed the Executive Education Certificate through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s, Leadership, Organizing and Action program.