November 17, 2006

Native values in government

Claudia Kauffman makes history in Washington stateKauffman, 47, became the first American Indian woman elected to the Washington state Senate. But her successful campaign also transcended racial bounds; her constituents saw her not as an American Indian candidate for the Senate, but as a candidate who happens also to be American Indian.

“It's the manner in which I was raised, the basic values American Indians have--taking care of our children, respecting our elders, honoring our veterans, serving our community,” Kauffman said of her motivation to run for Senate. “I've been around these values all my life and I have had an opportunity to do these things on so many different levels; the next natural step for me was to run for office.”

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