Isleta woman makes history by being first Native woman to lead U.S. House prayer | KOB 4

Isleta woman makes history by being first Native woman to lead U.S. House prayer

Ryan Laughlin
Created: November 13, 2019 06:14 PM

WASHINGTON— A woman made history in Congress Wednesday by being the first Native American woman to deliver the opening prayer on the U.S. House floor.

New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland invited Verna Teller of Isleta Pueblo to lead the prayer in honor of Native American Heritage Month.


Teller has been breaking barriers long before her historic delivery in the House.

"She broke barriers when she was elected as the first woman Pueblo governor,” said Rep. Haaland in the moments before Teller led the prayer. “Because of the history of colonization many Pueblo’s generally don't allow woman to hold leadership positions."

Isleta Pueblo Governor Max Zuni said the Pueblo is honored and humbled that the values of Isleta were on display for the entire country.

"She'll be down in history for 100 years,” he said.

Zuni appointed Teller as the Chief Justice of Isleta Pueblo.

"I feel that it's not if you're a man or a woman, it's what you're knowledgeable about,” he said.Governor Zuni said he hopes to see more women fill Native leadership roles.

To read Rep. Haaland’s and Teller’s full remarks on the House floor, click here.

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