Lekanoff Sworn-In as First Native American Woman to Serve in Washington House

(OLYMPIA)- Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow, began her first day in the state legislature by being sworn into office Monday on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rep. Lekanoff is making history as the first Native American woman to become a Washington state Representative.

Beyond the typical ceremony where all legislators are sworn into office during the House opening day proceedings, Rep. Lekanoff brought something special to the Capitol. After the closing of the daily proceedings, Rep. Lekanoff was joined on the floor Coast Salish Washington Tribal leaders and British Columbia First Nation Chiefs across Washington, as well as Gov. Jay Inslee, House Speaker Frank Chopp, House Republican Leader JT. Wilcox, and fellow representatives for a tribal blanketing and swearing in ceremony.

The People’s House celebrated this monumental moment with the echoes of Nisqually Tribal drums and the harmonious voices of tribes honoring this day in state history. Judge Ron Whitner, Squaxin Island Tribal member, conducted Rep. Lekanoff’s ceremony.