NPT Capitol: Tigua women explain “self-determination”
Tigua women had a meeting today with women lawmakers concerned over the lack of voting rights women have in the Ysleta del sur Pueblo community. The meeting took place after state Rep. Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, spoke out last week. Bolton, not a big fan of gambling in general, talked to reporters after the closed door meeting.
“It was a fascinating meeting. I learned a lot. I feel very much more informed. They are bright accomplished articulate women who really did an excellent job of conveying their tradition, there place in their tribe, their economy, there culture,” said Bolton. “I think I realize it is a lot more complex than I properly appreciated.”
Edna Sierra, a member of the tribe who spoke at the meeting, said she was happy to share her culture and clarify the role of women within it.
“We wanted to share a little bit of our cultural aspects with respect to our tradition and how they play into our political structures…We don’t vote on election night but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a say,” said Sierra, who described how women hold top management positions handling millions of dollars and have a say in the removal of tribal officers. Bolton seemed impressed.
“In our culture, voting is such a basic human right and so connected to self-determination that it is very hard for a lot of us to think about it differently. But certainly what I heard from these women was that within their culture they have a great deal of self-determination for themselves and for their family,” said Bolton.