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Urban Poverty Forum: Native Voter Suppression

Urban Poverty Forum: Native Voter Suppression

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1PM Pacific Time

The Urban Poverty Forum is an effort to open a dialogue around the systemic issues surrounding urban poverty and to unite a diverse community of care—including faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and concerned citizens in addressing problems faced by the poorest among us. As part of an ongoing focus on essential conversations related to the 2020 election, Town Hall presents a short film screening and discussion about a topic that is perhaps more crucial than ever before—combating voter suppression.

Following a screening of two short films—The Right to Vote: North Dakota and Reclaiming Their Voice: The Native American Vote in New Mexico and Beyond—moderator Representative Ruth Anna Buffalo (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) will be joined by panelists Fawn Sharp (Quinault) and Robin Little Wing Sigo (Suquamish) to discuss the history of suppression in the American Indian and Alaska Native communities, how that connects to the incredibly restrictive voter identification laws in North Dakota and New Mexico, how Washington State tribes share information about voting rights with their communities, and what is happening now in preparation for the 2020 election. Join us for a timely and urgent conversation about voter suppression—with practical steps we can all take to confront it.

Ruth Anna Buffalo (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) is an educator, community organizer, and public health professional. She currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota, where in 2018 she was elected to serve a four-year term in the state legislature representing the 27th district. Ruth has volunteered extensively with local, statewide, and national boards which focus on improving the quality of life for people. Her work includes research and advocacy, community capacity-building, and continued reconciliation efforts through education.

Robin Little Wing Sigo (Suquamish) is the Tribal Council treasurer and Director of the Research & Development Department, and the Suquamish Foundation. Over her professional career, she has been a grant writer, mental health therapist, research investigator, administrator, and trainer. These experiences led her to being elected for the tribal council, where she specialized in sovereignty, budget planning, community mental health, strategic planning, lobbying, philanthropy, and poverty alleviation.

Fawn Sharp (Quinault) is the President at the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. The NCAI supports the ‘Native Vote,’ a non-partisan initiative that mobilizes voter registration, election protection, education, and data collection to ensure everyone’s voices are heard. She is also the current President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Mahogany Project.

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