Native Women in Nevada Give Their Reasons to Vote
Alejandra Rubio interviews four Indigenous women on why they believe it’s important to participate in the electoral process during the 2022 midterms.
Bethany Same is a Standing Rock Sioux Tribal member and Kuizadika Paiute. She is the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Public Relations Officer. For Bethany, voting is crucial because it could help preserve her language and culture.
“Education, healthcare, mining, sacred or ceremonial use areas, taxes, and anything the bill supports that includes our indigenous peoples. People start looking into stereotypes like we don’t pay taxes or get free education because that’s not the case. I want to ensure that my vote goes to something that will help. But myself, in the general perspective of ensuring that we’re heard and treated equally as every other American citizen.”
Larissa Cawelti, 29, from the Pascua Yaqui tribe located in Tucson, Az, now lives in Wadsworth, NV.
“We have our voice, people don’t realize there’s so many of us. we’re not really a minority, there’s more of us than there are other races and with our vote, we can really make a change.”
Camiell Simpson, 23, is a Washoe tribal member who grew up on the Stewart Reservation in Carson City, NV. She is currently working within the Washoe tribe at the Healing Center.
“This election year follows with a rollercoaster of emotions. From our younger generation not being educated enough to form their own opinion and to hear some say ‘I just checked random boxes’ or ‘Idon’t care I don’t even vote.’ Election year is for our future and to hear people say they don’t care or it doesn’t affect them as a US citizen is terrifying. Voting is very important for our future and our schools need to do a better job of showing the importance of voting.”
Elizabeth Mercedes Krause, an Oglala Lakota, was born and raised in Nevada. She now lives in Sparks and is running to represent Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District for the Democratic Party.
“No one should be making decisions for us. States have been obstructing that with a lack of inequitable access to the ballot. I’m into issues. That’s how I even got here. Because there are issues affecting our kids, our community needs to be addressed. Things are not balanced, and our voice is not being heard equitably. And we’re the only ones who can change that. And we do that by our vote.”