On the campaign trail. Photo: Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland's great-grandfather was taken from family and sent to boarding school

Deb Haaland is making history with her bid to become the first Native woman to serve in the U.S. House.

Haaland connected with voters in New Mexico by linking her tribal background to her progressive campaign, The New York Times reports. A case in point -- her great-grandfather was taken from his family at the Pueblo of Laguna and was sent hundreds of miles away to the infamous Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, whose founder's motto was "Kill the Indian .. and save the man."

“It was shameful and inhumane then to separate families and it’s shameful and inhumane now,” Haaland told reporter Simon Romero, drawing a parallel between her family's experience and that of immigrant children who are affected by the Trump administration's harsh policies.

Haaland secured the Democratic nomination on Tuesday in New Mexico's 1st Congressional district. She has a strong shot at winning the general election on November 6 because the district has sent a Democrat to Washington, D.C., for the past decade.

If she succeeds, Haaland would be joining two other tribal citizens in Congress, assuming they win re-election this year too. Both are Republican men from Oklahoma -- Rep. Tom Cole, who is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), who hails from the Cherokee Nation.

On the Senate side, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has claimed to be "part Native." But she has acknowledged that no one from her family has been on any tribal rolls.

Before that, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, served in the Senate prior to his retirement in 2004. He also served in the House.

Read More on the Story:
New Mexico Could Elect First Native American Woman to Congress (The New York Times June 6, 2018)
Deb Haaland’s primary win means she will likely be the first Native American woman in Congress (Vox June 6, 2018)
New Mexico Could Elect First Native-American Woman To Congress (National Public Radio June 6, 2018)
New Mexico candidate could become first Native American congresswoman (ABC News June 6, 2018)
New Mexico's Deb Haaland likely to be first Native American congresswoman (CNN June 6, 2018)
Deb Haaland from New Mexico on track to become first Native American congresswoman (USA Today June 6, 2018)
Past Democratic Party chair Haaland wins nomination (The Albuquerque Journal June 5, 2018)
New Mexico Moves Closer to Electing the First Native American Congresswoman (The Associated Press June 5, 2018)

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