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Student's View: Finally, representation for my heritage

I'm proud and grateful to tell you about meeting Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids. We met them just days after they were sworn in as the first Native Americans to serve as U.S. congresswomen.

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Denfeld’s 1947 boys basketball team is the only Denfeld basketball team to win a state title. The team’s head coach was Lloyd Holm. Team members were Rudy Monson, Larry Tessier, Paul Nace, Kenneth Sunnarborg, Eugene Norlander, Howard Tucker, Tony Skull, Jerry Walczak, Bruce Budge, Keith Stolen and student manager Bob Scott.

I'm proud and grateful to tell you about meeting Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids. We met them just days after they were sworn in as the first Native Americans to serve as U.S. congresswomen.

We crowded into Deb's office, and I was overcome with the feeling that she was representing me. For the first time I felt that someone was representing my heritage, my people - our people.

Next, we visited Sharice. Again, we filled her office, and she asked us to go around the room to tell about ourselves. We called out our tribal affiliations, Bad River, Red Cliff, Fond du Lac, Tlingit, and many more.

These two powerful legislators have strong, fresh voices and are standing up for 5.2 million American Indian and Alaskan Natives. They broke into one of the highest political arenas in the world, and that makes me full of hope for the positive changes to come.

As for us, we are more determined than ever to become true leaders.

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Mary Schwend of Winona, Minn., is a College of St. Scholastica pre-med student, majoring in biology. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She was among 22 students on a trip this month to cultural sites in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Additional student reflections can be read at z.umn.edu/dc-2019.

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