Bethany Yellowtail #SheRepresents tees applaud Native Women Candidates

Attendees of the Native Power-Building Summit wear the new #SheRepresents tee designed by Bethany Yellowtail. (Photo courtesy of Bethany Yellowtail)

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye

Yellowtail releases her #SheRepresents t-shirt to celebrate record number of Native women candidates running for office.

2018 is a historical year as there are currently more Native women than Native men running for state legislators and governors. There are 53 Native women candidates out of the 101 contenders.

Not only did Yellowtail say she was inspired by all the women running for office, but many of the candidates asked Yellowtail to make them campaign materials.

I was asked to design a scarf to support Paulette Jordan, and once that launched I had about 10 more requests from Native organizations and campaigns to support more candidates, she said. I couldnt say yes to them all, so I decided to create something that could help raise visibility for them all at once.

The back of the shirt lists 60 Native women candidates. Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today and host of FNXs Wassaja weekly show, says he is keeping watchful eye on the number of Native candidates. Yellowtail says Mark Trahant helped to inspire the list of candidates on the shirts.

Mark helped me finalize the list and, of course, it was hard to include everyone since it is a moving target, Yellowtail said. Hes been keeping me up to date on the races and making sure Im informed. Hes been an incredible resource! We did our best to make sure everyone was included but of course we missed a few.

Andrea Clifford is running for Wyoming House District 33 who was not included in the list, Yellowtail said. Her and Mark tried hard to include everyone. (Photo courtesy of Bethany Yellowtail)

Shirts go on sale today for $30 on the B.Yellowtail website. Profits from the sales will go to Advance Native Political Leadership Action Fund, which will be supporting a host of progressive Native candidates running for office.

I hope the t-shirt is used as a tool to amplify Native voices collectively. I also hope it inspires our communities to get out and vote! Yellowtail said.

Ruth Buffalo, Mandan Hidatsa Arikara, is running for state legislature in North Dakota. (Photo courtesy of Bethany Yellowtail)

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter@jourdanbb.