Native Vote 2020

National Congress of American Indians | Native American Rights Fund
Campaigns & Events, Communications, Creative & Design
[Ballot box icon]

A fundamental right

The fundamental right to vote has been intentionally obstructed for Native American people since the fifteenth amendment passed in 1870. And though Native Americans are the first people of this land, they could not vote until U.S. citizenship was granted in 1924. And still, the growing Native population continues to face voter suppression at every step of the voting process as their political power builds.

To navigate the obstacles, Pyramid has activated Native vote campaigns across the decades. We’ve partnered with tribal nations like Lummi, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Blackfeet Tribe, and Puyallup Tribe of Indians to encourage their membership to vote. Native-led partners like Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians, Chief Seattle Club, the Alaska Federation of Natives and others, have committed to utilizing their resources and reach to mobilize Native voters across the nation.

Image shows three poster examples featuring Native elders. Content on the posters reads: 1)

The strategy

  • Generate awareness within tribal communities about attempts to obstruct the Native vote.
  • Elevate the voices of tribal organizers, leaders and Native influencers nationwide as they called on Native people to use their power to vote.
  • Navigate communications barriers with culturally informed awareness campaigns across geographies and tribal territories.
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The Work

Native American Rights Fund

  • Created awareness campaign and Native Vote toolkit to activate Native Voters building up to the 2020 election.
  • Created one-page summaries for the Obstacle At Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation by Native American Voters report.
  • Engaged in a proactive inoculation campaign to combat dis-and mis-information and circumvent community threats and Native voter suppression.
  • Activate a digital post-election voter confidence campaign to remind Native voters of their power.

National Congress of American Indians

  • Edited and activated the NCAI Voter Toolkit for cultural relevance, COVID-19 disruption in voting access, and adaptations to connect with the Native audience.
  • Supported registration activities during the count down to the November election.
  • Designed and placed culturally informed Get Out the Vote ads with tribal newspapers in core target tribal communities including but not limited to ND, SD, MT, and AZ.
Image of a Native elder with the text:
Image of a Native mother and young child with text that reads:
Image of a Native man with the text:

Chief Seattle Club

  • Produced and facilitated the Seattle City Council Town Hall on Urban Indigenous Issues prior to Election Day.
  • Designed Native vote graphics to support a voter registration event for the urban Indian houseless community and beyond.
  • Coordinated and activated a national Native Vote social media campaign.

Tribal Support

  • Designed voter’s guides for specific tribes with key endorsements for local races.
  • Created and sent out mailers to tribal members with election information.
  • Supported primary and general elections with tribal voter guides.
  • Established voter toolkits and vote-by-mail guidelines to share information with tribal communities on how to get out the vote and action plans during a global pandemic.
Teal background with text that reads:
Four icons: a ballot box with a ballot sticking out, an envelope for ballot by mail, a box full of ballots, a bus, and a smart phone
Graphic that includes text:

The results

Through on-going and collective efforts, Native vote campaigns have activated voters in tribal communities to increase local and broad political participation in order to build Native power. Native people proved to be the margin of victory in the 2020 election, particularly in states like Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota.