List of Native Americans in the United States Congress

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This is a list of Native Americans with documented tribal ancestry or affiliation in the U.S. Congress.

Map of all congressional districts represented by Native Americans in the 117th Congress.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), a Northern Cheyenne and one of only 4 Native Senators in U.S. history. As of 2020, he is the last Native American to have served in the Senate.

All entries on this list are related to Native American tribes based in the contiguous United States. No Alaska Natives have ever served in Congress. There are Native Hawaiians who have served in Congress, but they are not listed here because they are distinct from North American Natives.

Only two Native Americans served in the 115th Congress: Tom Cole (serving since 2003) and Markwayne Mullin (serving since 2013), both of whom are Republican Representatives from Oklahoma. On November 6, 2018, Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 116th Congress, which commenced on January 3, 2019, has four Native Americans. Davids and Haaland are the first two Native American women with documented tribal ancestry to serve in Congress. There currently are five Native Americans seated in the House, the largest delegation yet in history: Cole, Mullin, Haaland and Davids were all reelected in 2020, with Republican Yvette Herrell of New Mexico elected for the first time in 2020.

Senate

Picture Senator
(lifespan)
Tribal Ancestry State Party Term start Term end Notes
Hiram Rhodes Revels Hiram Revels
(1827–1901)
Lumbee Mississippi Mississippi Republican February 23, 1870 March 4, 1871 First Native American in the Senate; resigned to become the President of Alcorn State University
Charles Curtis Charles Curtis
(1860–1936)
Kaw,
Osage,
Potawatomi
Kansas Kansas Republican January 29, 1907 January 3, 1913 Was not reelected after Democrats won control of Kansas Legislature in 1912
March 4, 1915 March 4, 1929 First Native American popularly elected to the Senate
Served as President pro tempore and Majority Leader
Resigned after being elected Vice President
Robert Latham Owen Robert Owen
(1856–1947)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic December 11, 1907 March 4, 1925 Retired
Ben Nighthorse Campbell Ben Campbell
(born 1933)
Northern Cheyenne Colorado Colorado Democratic (1993–1995) January 3, 1993 January 3, 2005 Retired
Republican (1995-2005)

House of Representatives

  Denotes incumbent

Picture Representative
(lifespan)
Tribal Ancestry State Party Term start Term end Notes
Richard H. Cain Richard H. Cain
(1825–1887)
Cherokee South Carolina South Carolina Republican March 4, 1873 March 4, 1875 Retired
March 4, 1877 March 4, 1879
John Mercer Langston John Mercer Langston
(1829–1897)
Pamunkey Virginia Virginia Republican September 23, 1890 March 3, 1891 Lost Reelection
Charles Curtis Charles Curtis
(1860–1936)
Kaw,
Osage,
Potawatomi
Kansas Kansas Republican March 4, 1893 January 28, 1907 Resigned to become U.S. Senator from Kansas
Charles D. Carter Charles Carter
(1868–1929)
Chickasaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic November 16, 1907 March 4, 1927 Lost renomination
William Wirt Hastings William Hastings
(1866–1938)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic March 4, 1915 March 4, 1921 Lost reelection
March 4, 1923 January 3, 1935 Retired
Will Rogers, Jr. Will Rogers Jr.
(1911–1993)
Cherokee California California Democratic January 3, 1943 May 23, 1944 Resigned to join the U.S. Army
William G. Stigler William Stigler
(1891–1952)
Choctaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic March 28, 1944 August 21, 1952 Died in office
Ben Reife Ben Reifel
(1906–1990)
Lakota Sioux,
(Rosebud Sioux)
South Dakota South Dakota Republican January 3, 1961 January 3, 1971 Retired
Floyd Hicks Floyd Hicks
(1915–1992)
Paiute,
Shoshone
Washington (state) Washington Democratic January 3, 1965 January 3, 1977 Retired
Clem McSpadden Clem McSpadden
(1925–2008)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic January 3, 1973 January 3, 1975 Retired to run unsuccessfully for the nomination to the 1974 Oklahoma gubernatorial election
Ben Nighthorse Campbell Ben Campbell
(born 1933)
Northern Cheyenne Colorado Colorado Democratic January 3, 1987 January 3, 1993 Retired to run successfully for the 1992 United States Senate election in Colorado
Brad Carson Brad Carson
(born 1967)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic January 3, 2001 January 3, 2005 Retired to run unsuccessfully for the 2004 United States Senate election in Oklahoma
Tom Cole Tom Cole
(born 1949)
Chickasaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2003 Incumbent
Travis Childers Travis Childers
(born 1958)
Chickasaw,
Mississippi Choctaw
Mississippi Mississippi Democratic May 13, 2008 January 3, 2011 Lost reelection
Markwayne Mullin Markwayne Mullin
(born 1977)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2013 Incumbent
Sharice Davids Sharice Davids
(born 1980)
Ho-Chunk Kansas Kansas Democratic January 3, 2019 Incumbent First LGBTQ Native American elected
Deb Haaland Deb Haaland
(born 1960)
Laguna Pueblo New Mexico New Mexico Democratic January 3, 2019 Incumbent
Rep. Herrell Yvette Herrell
(born 1964)
Cherokee New Mexico New Mexico Republican January 3, 2021 Incumbent

References

  • Stubben, Jerry D. (2006). Native Americans and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-57607-262-2.
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