Native American women make history in Rapid City

The most Native American women to be on the city's municipal ballot

RAPID CITY, S.D. – For the first time in Rapid City’s history there are 5 Native American women running for municipal offices, and one of those women is running for mayor. Overall there are 7 Native American candidates on the ballot and they all hope to make history in the hills.

An Army veteran, a devout Christian, and a law professional are among the candidates running for office this June. Those titles may sound ordinary but these women are taking on an extraordinary task. 

“Everyone deserves a voice at the table-everyone. I am very proud and very honored to represent Rapid City,” said Cante Heart who is running for Ward 5.

Four of the women gathered in front of City Hall for their first news conference on Thursday. One of them could not make it because she was partaking in humanitarian efforts on Pine Ridge, trying to help those affected by the flood.

The four running for council come from wards 1,2,3 and 5. All of the candidates present at the conference are passionate about race relations. The overall goal is to unify the city and find common ground among people of all cultural backgrounds.

“We need to come together because we have shared values. We need to create relationships and trust in order to create a better Rapid City,” said Heart.

Mayoral candidate Natalie Stites-Means studied law and wants to tackle social issues. She wants to accomplish that by working side-by-side with residents of Rapid City.

“I think there is a lot of value to making sure that diverse people are at the table, and in particular making sure that those who are voiceless are represented,” said Stites-Means.

If she is elected she would be the first female mayor and the city’s second Native American chief executive.

Elections will be held on June 4.

Candidates include:

Mayoral Candidate – Natalie Stites- Means

Ward 1 – Terra Houska

Ward 2 – Ramona Harrington

Ward 3 – Stephanie A. Savoy

Ward 5 – Cante Heart


Categories: Local News, South Dakota News