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 couldn’t 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 FNX’s 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. “He’s been keeping me up to date on the races and making sure I’m informed. He’s been an incredible resource! We did our best to make sure everyone was included but of course we missed a few.”
“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.