The month of March is designated as Women’s History Month. This is a time to honor the contributions that women have made to our shared history and for the betterment of society. In March we also recognize International Women’s Day, a global day of recognition for the achievements of women. Without question there are many North Dakota women that we have recognized for the work they do to in this state which contributes to the well-being of all its citizens. We would like to acknowledge and share our gratitude for one particular woman who is currently making history, and that person is Ruth Anna Buffalo.

Rep. Ruth Anna Buffalo, Fargo, is the first Indigenous woman to take seat as a Democrat in the North Dakota Legislature. Buffalo’s election to the state legislature is an honor and achievement that she won with hard work and citizen support.

As soon as Buffalo was sworn into office, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Prior to her election, she devoted herself to education, raising her family, and active engagement in many civic, cultural and local activities. The Fargo community was wise in their decision to send her to the Capitol, as she has a vision for her homelands, and is actively seeking to bring it to fruition in her work in Bismarck.

North Dakotans overall benefit from her presence in the Legislature, as she has already written, sponsored and co-sponsored several bills to protect the citizens of our state, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People bill. None of the work that Buffalo has been involved in is secret, so we must expect journalists and those working in the media to do their due diligence in reporting the work. Buffalo’s list of accomplishments is long, and her leadership is not only inspirational, it is historic. Buffalo has traveled throughout our state and worked In Washington, D.C., to make positive changes for the whole of society.

We are lucky to be living in a time where we see women of color increasingly taking on leadership roles at an exponential rate. We are most certainly lucky to have women like Buffalo to inspire us to do better in our everyday lives; it would be our hope that her grace, courage and fortitude would inspire others to be as thoughtful, discerning and compassionate. It is unfortunate when we see that this is not always the case; regardless, the work remains, and we support Buffalo in remaining focused on what must be accomplished.

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As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we implore you to challenge yourself by getting to know leaders in your own communities, in our state and worldwide. It is important that even as we offer criticism to leaders, that we inform ourselves before making quick assumptions. It is incumbent upon us, in our increasingly diverse communities, to learn about our neighbors as we, too, are influencing our peers and future generations. Let us uplift women in leadership like Ruth Buffalo, the many women who have come before her, and the many women who are inspired by her efforts now during Women’s History Month and every day after.

Miigwech, pilamaya, maacagirac, thank you.