This is a list of Native Americans with documented tribal ancestry or affiliation in the U.S. Congress.

Map of all congressional districts represented by Native Americans at the beginning of the 118th Congress.
Map of all congressional districts represented by Native Americans at the beginning of the 118th Congress.

All entries on this list are related to Native American tribes based in the contiguous United States. There are Native Hawaiians who have served in Congress, but they are not listed here because they are distinct from North American Natives.

Only two Native Americans served in the 115th Congress: Tom Cole (serving since 2003) and Markwayne Mullin (served from 2013 until 2023), both of whom are Republican Representatives from Oklahoma. On November 6, 2018, Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 116th Congress, which commenced on January 3, 2019, had four Native Americans. Davids and Haaland are the first two Native American women with documented tribal ancestry to serve in Congress. At the start of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2021, five Native Americans were serving in the House, the largest Native delegation in history: Cole, Mullin, Haaland and Davids were all reelected in 2020, with Republican Yvette Herrell of New Mexico elected for the first time in 2020. The number dropped back down to four on March 16, 2021 when Haaland resigned her House seat to become Secretary of the Interior.

On August 16, 2022, Mary Peltola, a Yup'ik woman, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Alaska, becoming the first person with documented Native Alaskan ancestry to serve in Congress. This returned the number of the Native delegation to five, with a partisan split of three Republicans and two Democrats. This also marked the first time that a Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian (Kai Kahele) simultaneously served in Congress.

Following the November 2022 elections, incumbents Cole (R-OK), Davids (D-KS) and Peltola (D-AK) all retained their seats, while Cherokee Republican Markwayne Mullin retired from the House and was elected to the Senate: Mullin became the first Native senator since the retirement of Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) in 2005, and his House seat was won by Choctaw Republican Josh Brecheen. In the same election, Yvette Herrell lost her seat due to gerrymandering; as such, Native Americans in the 118th Congress remain five, four in the House and one in the Senate. The partisan split is three Republicans and two Democrats. The states represented by Native members of Congress also dropped from four to three with Herrell's defeat in New Mexico.

Entries shaded in blue refer to current members of the U.S. Congress.

Senate

  Denotes incumbent

Picture Senator
(lifespan)
Tribal ancestry State Party Term start Term end Notes
Hiram Rhodes Revels
Hiram Revels
(1827–1901)
Lumbee Mississippi Mississippi Republican February 23, 1870 March 4, 1871 Retired
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
(1860–1936)[1]
Kaw,
Osage,
Potawatomi
Kansas Kansas Republican January 29, 1907 January 3, 1913 Was not reelected after Democrats won control of Kansas Legislature in 1912
March 4, 1915 March 4, 1929 Resigned after being elected Vice President
Robert Latham Owen
Robert Owen
(1856–1947)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic December 11, 1907 March 4, 1925 Retired
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
(born 1933)
Northern Cheyenne Colorado Colorado Democratic (1993–1995) January 3, 1993 January 3, 2005 Retired
Republican (1995-2005)
Markwayne Mullin
Markwayne Mullin
(born 1977)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2023 Incumbent

Histograph

The histograph below sets forth the number of Native Americans who served in the United States Senate during the periods provided.

Starting Total Graph
March 4, 1789 0  
February 23, 1870 1
March 4, 1871 0  
January 29, 1907 1
December 11, 1907 2 ❚❚
January 3, 1913 1
March 4, 1915 2 ❚❚
March 4, 1925 1
March 4, 1929 0  
January 3, 1993 1
January 3, 2005 0  
January 3, 2023 1

House of Representatives

  Denotes incumbent

Picture Representative
(lifespan)
Tribal ancestry State Party Term start Term end Notes
Richard H. Cain
Richard H. Cain
(1825–1887)
Cherokee South Carolina South Carolina Republican March 4, 1873 March 4, 1875 Retired
March 4, 1877 March 4, 1879
John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston
(1829–1897)
Pamunkey Virginia Virginia Republican September 23, 1890 March 3, 1891 Lost Reelection
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
(1860–1936)
Kaw,
Osage,
Potawatomi
Kansas Kansas Republican March 4, 1893 January 28, 1907 Resigned to become U.S. Senator from Kansas
Charles D. Carter
Charles Carter
(1868–1929)
Chickasaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic November 16, 1907 March 4, 1927 Lost renomination
William Wirt Hastings
William Hastings
(1866–1938)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic March 4, 1915 March 4, 1921 Lost reelection
March 4, 1923 January 3, 1935 Retired
Will Rogers, Jr.
Will Rogers Jr.
(1911–1993)
Cherokee California California Democratic January 3, 1943 May 23, 1944 Resigned to join the U.S. Army
William G. Stigler
William Stigler
(1891–1952)
Choctaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic March 28, 1944 August 21, 1952 Died in office
Ben Reife
Ben Reifel
(1906–1990)
Lakota Sioux
(Rosebud Sioux)
South Dakota South Dakota Republican January 3, 1961 January 3, 1971 Retired
Clem McSpadden
Clem McSpadden
(1925–2008)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic January 3, 1973 January 3, 1975 Retired to run unsuccessfully for the nomination to the 1974 Oklahoma gubernatorial election
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
(born 1933)
Northern Cheyenne Colorado Colorado Democratic January 3, 1987 January 3, 1993 Retired to run successfully for the 1992 United States Senate election in Colorado
Brad Carson
Brad Carson
(born 1967)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Democratic January 3, 2001 January 3, 2005 Retired to run unsuccessfully for the 2004 United States Senate election in Oklahoma
Tom Cole
Tom Cole
(born 1949)
Chickasaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2003 Incumbent Longest serving Native American in the House[2]
Markwayne Mullin
Markwayne Mullin
(born 1977)
Cherokee Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2013 January 3, 2023 Retired to run successfully for the 2022 United States Senate special election in Oklahoma
Sharice Davids
Sharice Davids
(born 1980)
Ho-Chunk Kansas Kansas Democratic January 3, 2019 Incumbent First LGBTQ Native American elected
Deb Haaland
Deb Haaland
(born 1960)
Laguna Pueblo New Mexico New Mexico Democratic January 3, 2019 March 16, 2021 Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Rep. Herrell
Yvette Herrell
(born 1964)
Cherokee New Mexico New Mexico Republican January 3, 2021 January 3, 2023 Lost Reelection[3]
Mary Peltola
Mary Peltola
(born 1973)
Yup'ik Alaska Alaska Democratic September 13, 2022 Incumbent First Alaska Native elected to Congress
Rep. Brecheen
Josh Brecheen
(born 1979)
Choctaw Oklahoma Oklahoma Republican January 3, 2023 Incumbent

Histograph

The histograph below sets forth the number of Native Americans who served in the United States House during the periods provided.

Starting Total Graph
March 4, 1789 0  
March 4, 1873 1
March 4, 1875 0  
March 4, 1877 1
March 4, 1879 0  
September 23, 1890 1
March 3, 1891 0  
March 4, 1893 1
January 28, 1907 0  
November 16, 1907 1
March 4, 1915 2 ❚❚
March 4, 1921 1
March 4, 1923 2 ❚❚
March 4, 1927 1
January 3, 1935 0  
January 3, 1943 1
March 28, 1944 2 ❚❚
May 23, 1944 1
August 21, 1952 0  
January 3, 1961 1
January 3, 1971 0  
January 3, 1973 1
January 3, 1975 0  
January 3, 1987 1
January 3, 1993 0  
January 3, 2001 1
January 3, 2003 2 ❚❚
January 3, 2005 1
January 3, 2013 2 ❚❚
January 3, 2019 4 ❚❚❚❚
January 3, 2021 5 ❚❚❚❚❚
March 16, 2021 4 ❚❚❚❚
September 13, 2022 5 ❚❚❚❚❚

References

  1. ^ First Native American popularly elected to the Senate
    Served as President pro tempore and Majority Leader
  2. ^ Press Pool. "Cole becomes longest serving Native American in the House, proud of his record as a champion for Indian Country". indiancountrytoday.com.
  3. ^ Slacik, Sophia (2022-10-24). "New Mexico election results: Democrat Gabe Vasquez ousts Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell". Fox News. Retrieved 2022-11-10.