Paulette Jordan, Democratic candidate for Idaho Governor,
rides in Thursday's Kid's Parade.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — Paulette Jordan, Democratic candidate for Idaho Governor, said it’s an honor and a privilege for her to be a part of the Shoshone-Bannock Festival as she visited with people and participated in the Children’s parade.
The children’s parade was fantastic, she said, “That is what this campaign is all about is the future generations.” “I’m here to support the tribe and our young people – we need all our relatives to turn out to vote and make sure on November 6 you go to the polls,” it’s not hard, she continued, it’s a simple process, “every election cycle we need to participate so that our voice as tribal citizens is heard.”
Jordan said our beliefs – what we want as sovereign nations is represented in state government especially when it comes to salmon recovery, how we feel about our environment, education – all of that has to be supported including our right to self sustaining ourselves to our gaming. “We need to support all avenues and all legislators – a governor like myself who will stand firm in our right to economic self sufficiency.”
Despite the heat, Jordan appeared to be at home as she sat in a shade house on the Festival grounds visiting among tribal elders.
She came out to be a part of the relay noting she was going there next to make sure her team gets to see the culture, “See where I grew up, where I was raised,” acknowledging Terry Racehorse. “Lonnie Racehorse was my grandfather and I get to wear his belt in his honor,” she said as she pointed to it feeling thankful she grew up on the horse ranch among people who raised and bred horses for relay races. “It brings back a lot of good memories,” Paulette said recalling she played a lot of softball in Fort Hall as a kid. She also used to play basketball in Timbee Hall as her dad was one of the basketball coaches. “I grew up playing ball with a lot of the players – it brings back a lot of love in my heart – it’s home for me and it’s nice to reconnect,” she continued especially in the hubbub of her campaign noting it gets very busy. Her team is traveling throughout the state and it’s a gift for her to be able to come home, just relax, see some relatives and just enjoy everything, “All the goodness in this entire Festival.”
Jordan noted there are a lot of good women across the country making historic runs for office and lieutenant governor. “We’re talking and we’re also in support of each other,” she said, noting there are very few and far between Native women running for higher levels of office. “It’s important we are reflected in those state halls, in the White House and in Congress – people need to know that we the first Nations, indigenous people – we have a right to have our voice be heard,” she continued. It’s a lot of work and she commends each and every one of those women who are stepping up, running for office and more importantly who are showing our young women they too can run for higher office and be leaders. And do so with utmost diligence, she said.
“People right now really don’t know what that means for an indigenous woman to run and represent our people – to learn and see what it means because we are people who are raised by our elders and raised by our entire community,” Jordan continued. “We speak with compassion and love for our land, we speak with love for our children, love for the elders, we’re very respectful. I want to see more of that represented in governance.”