Kansas state representative sworn in wearing traditional Navajo dress

Twitter | @HaswoodForKS

Representative Christina Haswood is breaking down barriers and loving every minute of it.

In November 2020, Haswood was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives after running unopposed for the seat. At just 26 years old, she became the youngest sitting legislator in the state.

But it’s another distinction that holds more weight with the new lawmaker. When Haswood was sworn into the Kansas House of Representatives on Jan. 11, she became only the third Native American woman to serve in the state’s Legislature.

“Thank you Lawrence and Baldwin City,” Haswood posted on her Twitter account on Election Day. “I will not let you down!”

In the picture included in Haswood’s tweet, the newly elected state representative wore traditional Native American clothing. She continued that trend during her swearing-in ceremony by wearing a Navajo dress she made with her mother and best friend, along with ancestral jewelry.

“Many indigenous peoples wear their traditional attire at special events,” Haswood told BuzzFeed. “The outfit I wore at my swearing-in was made by my mother, myself, and my partner helped here and there. My jewelry was all passed down and borrowed from my family. I wanted to honor their sacrifices and my ancestors all on that day.”

“I also wore it for other indigenous youth to see the representation and show them we belong in these spaces,” Haswood added.

On her big day, Haswood decided to post a video on TikTok showing how she prepared for her swearing-in at the State House.

From early morning Zoom calls and makeup application to getting dressed in her gorgeous handmade dress, followers got to see the precious moments leading up to her arrival in Topeka, Kansas, to be signed in as an official representative.

@haswoodforksRepresentative Haswood ##greenscreenvideo ##ksleg♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason

The actual swearing-in ceremony was captured on video and shared on Haswood’s Twitter page.

Haswood is already hard at work in her new role, sponsoring three new bills in her efforts to change the designation of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, provide for the attorney general to coordinate training for law enforcement agencies on missing and murdered indigenous people, and increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over six years.

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Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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