Since 2004, Ruth Anna Buffalo has been working in tribal communities to improve the quality of life. She has led a wellness program for seven years at a tribal college to forming coalitions against substance use. Her public health background and indigenous perspective guide her work to address the social determinants of health. Ruth believes poor health is a result of poor policy. She recently ran for public office in 2016 as a candidate for ND Insurance Commissioner. Ruth Anna completed work for the ACLU of North Dakota which focused on Standing Rock.
She is a new board member to the ND Human Rights Coalition. Ruth is an alumni of several women’s leadership initiatives and is currently working on a project led by women to increase civic engagement throughout North Dakota. This project is through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s, Leadership, Organizing, and Action, online certificate program. Currently, she is a consultant to two non-profit organizations led by women, Honor the Earth and Sacred Pipe Resource Center. Her work focuses on community capacity building and reconciliation through education and the assessment of food systems.
In five years, Ruth believes tribal communities will have an increase of women running for office at all levels; tribal, county, state, and federal. She believes there will be policy changes throughout government that includes cultural competency training for law enforcement and elected officials, and Indigenous peoples will be viewed as humans.