Congratulations Ruth Buffalo!
Ruth Buffalo of Fargo has been named the 2019 Woman of the Year by the North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN). A banquet will be held on Friday, September 13, in Fargo to celebrate her impactful work.
Ruth, originally from Mandaree, was elected into office in 2018 to serve North Dakota as a Representative for District 27. In her first session in the legislature, seven of the eight bills she introduced passed and became law. Many of those bills will have a direct positive impact on women in our state, including policies surrounding missing and murdered indigenous people and human trafficking. She is also a citizen of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and descendant of the Chiricahua band of Apache.
Ruth's background is in public health, education and research. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, she served her rural tribal community as a Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator where she built and enhanced community coalitions in six different communities. She led a successful wellness program at a tribal college which contributed to student success. She is a volunteer for several local, statewide and national boards which focus on improving the quality of life for all people. Her work includes research and advocacy, community capacity-building and continued reconciliation efforts through education. She has served on advisory councils focused on women’s health, women’s leadership and local food systems.
Ruth is an alumni of several women’s leadership initiatives and worked on a women-led project to increase civic engagement throughout North Dakota. She also serves as a mentor. In 2017 she successfully completed the Executive Education Certificate through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s, Leadership, Organizing, and Action program.
She is a community advocate for all people and works to make sure all people are informed of the electoral and legislative process. Her passion is safe and healthy communities.
Previous NDWN Woman of the Year recipients include Dina Butcher, Connie Hildebrand, Bonnie Palecek, Judy DeMers, Kylie Oversen, Karla Rose Hanson, Cheryl Bergian, Nancy Johnson, Ellen Chaffee, Kathy Fick, Kathy Hogan and Karen Ehrens.
The Woman of the Year Banquet will kick off the NDWN Annual Meeting. In addition to the banquet, the NDWN Annual Meeting will include a variety of education sessions on issues facing women and NDWN board elections. The education sessions and elections will be held on September 14 at the same location. Tickets for the event will go on sale August 1.