August 1, 2021

A US indigenous candidate says that "there is no race or gender in the leadership"

A US indigenous candidate says that "there is no race or gender in the leadership"

From a predominantly rural land, led by white men and mostly Republicans, Democrat Paulette Jordan is proud to be the first woman to run for governor of Idaho and the first indigenous woman to become governor in the history of the United States.

In an interview with Efe, Jordan says categorically that she represents the "voice of change" and goes on to demonstrate that "there is no race or gender in true leadership".

"The fact that we have never had a Native American governor in the US or a governor in Idaho shows that we do not have the right system to truly represent the people," he says.

Jordan says he belongs to a lineage of great leaders who have been an important source of guidance and wisdom in his life and career, and states that "for too long the white men in power have not understood the strengths of their people and their struggles. "

As a member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe, he says he adopted values ​​rooted in his culture as the strong connection to the land and that shaped his worldview and dictated a clear path to leadership.

"I do not pretend to be a ruler, I pretend to be the voice of the people of Idaho, and I will return power to the people," he says.

Jordan is committed to protecting public lands and the environment of large corporations that, he believes, "are willing to harm them for their own benefit," something that, in his opinion, his tribe has suffered first-hand.

"We know it takes centuries to correct this reckless and selfish behavior, our lands belong to our future generations," he says with determination.

With a view to leading a state whose primary schools are among the worst in the country, Jordan sees a need to reform the education system, affordable health care and support for small businesses.

And he considers diversity as one of the most beautiful characteristics and believes that it should be embraced in Idaho, where, according to census data, whites represent 82% of the population, followed by Hispanics (12.5%) and natives (1,7), among other races and ethnicities.

"Leaders must set an example so that people can see beyond our gender and our origin," Jordan says about the values ​​of its people, such as respect for the elderly and the need to listen to them.

His great-grandfather was Chief Moses of Columbia and Chief Kamiakin of Palus. "His untamable leadership has taught me strength in negotiation and diplomacy in matters that affect both business and government, a strength that comes from how we treat others," he says.

From her grandmothers she learned the strength in women to be leaders and great protectors.

Jordan witnesses a historic number of women on the ballot in the elections on November 6, with 234 of them being presented to the federal House of Representatives and 22 more to the Senate, with a significant presence of Latinas and indigenous people.

"2018 is the year of women and we can feel a national brotherhood that is making us even stronger," says Jordan on the role they can play to contribute to the system, dominated so far by "corruption and discrimination" , new ideas to "experience life in a different way".

Jordan sees that the woman has a chance. "People can underestimate us, but what they do not know is that our heritage strengthens us and that our communities are the pillars that make us stand out," he says.

"We are making history and improving our future at the same time, and no matter how difficult it is, we will always move forward," he says firmly.


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