August 26, 2008

Indians at the DNC

The DNC by the Native numbersTop party officials say this year's Democratic National Convention is the most diverse in party history and American Indians are playing a central role in many key positions.

More Native delegates have been elected to this year's convention than ever before. There are currently 143 self-identified Native American delegates, compared to 86 in 2004. It's a whopping 40 percent increase.

Of the nearly 800 Democratic superdelegates, four are Native, which is believed to be the highest number of American Indian superdelegates in convention history.

The superdelegates are Frank LaMere, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and chair of the First American Caucus; state Rep. Margarett Campbell, an Assiniboine Sioux from Montana; Kalyn Free, Choctaw from Oklahoma; and Laurie Weahkee, a Zuni/Cochiti/Navajo voter registration advocate.

At least six Natives also sit this year on key DNC committees, serving in important decision-making positions.

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