Announcement follows creation of first-in-the-nation Tribal Committee to increase representation of American Indian Nations in party business

HELENA — The Montana Democratic Party named the first Chair and Vice Chair of the newly formed Flathead Tribal Committee in a vote late yesterday.

“We are following through on our commitment to make our state party the most inclusive of indigenous peoples in the country,” said Donavon Hawk, Treasurer of the Montana Democratic Party. “These are just the first steps in a long journey: Our work will not be over until the voices of Montana’s tribal communities fill the walls of our state’s and nation’s capitals.”

The Flathead Tribal Committee will work on local issues and challenges, recruit and help elect Native candidates to serve in public office. Native Americans are seven percent of Montana’s voting population, and they would have seven percent of the vote at state conventions of the Montana Democratic Party. 

The Montana Democratic Party is considering a rule change later this week that would establish the first in the nation Tribal Committees inside the MDP Rules and grant them truly representative voting strength. The nationally historic vote to approve the change will take place at the MDP Rules Convention which begins Friday, June 4th of this week.  

Here’s more on the new leaders of the committee: 

Chair Davin Sorrell, a resident of St. Ignatius, is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe.  He is a state watercraft inspector for the Tribe.  

Vice Chair Patrick Yawakie is co-founder of Red Medicine and a volunteer community organizer on the Flathead Reservation, where he lives.

Editor's Note: This version corrects Yawakie's information from the print edition. He was not associated with Western Native Voice.

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