As part of the 2020 Human Trafficking and Migration Initiative, Rep. Debra Anne Haaland (D-New Mexico), first Native U.S. congresswoman will virtually present “The Challenges of Resolving Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the Trafficking of Native Women and Children” on Oct. 21.
All events offered as part of the conference are free and available virtually.
Haaland grew up in a military family; her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving six lives during Vietnam, and her mother is a Navy veteran who was a federal employee for 25 years in Indian education.
As a single mother, she volunteered at her daughter’s pre-school in order to afford an early childhood education. She struggled to put herself through college, earning degrees from the University of New Mexico and UNM Law School.
She is a 35th generation New Mexican who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage. After running for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in 2014, Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party. She used her experience reaching out to communities who are often forgotten during the electoral process during the two Obama presidential campaigns. During her time as State Party Chair, she traveled to Standing Rock to stand side-by-side with the community to protect tribal sovereignty and advocate vital natural resources.