The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Ms. Verna Teller

Southern Tiwa
Pueblo of Isleta, NM

Sponsor: Rep. Deb Haaland, (D-NM)
Date of Prayer: 11/13/2019

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. HAALAND. Madam Speaker, I am honored to have a fierce woman from
my district to deliver a historic opening prayer.

Isleta Pueblo Chief Judge Verna Teller is the first Native American to deliver the opening prayer in the U.S. House.

This is a special time in our country's history and, in honor of
Native American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the contributions
of Native Americans to this country.

Chief Judge Teller made her own history in New Mexico. She broke
barriers when she was elected as the first woman Pueblo Governor.
Because of the history of colonization, many Pueblos generally don't
allow women to hold leadership positions, but that didn't stop Judge Teller from knowing her value as a Tribal leader.

I am proud to stand with Chief Judge Teller to highlight the resilience of indigenous women and our perseverance to uplift our girls and our women in all of our communities.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O, Creator and Great Mother, having asked and received Your permission to invoke Your blessings today to all directions––to the east, north, west, south, and the center––we thank You for the life You give to all Your children: the two–legged ones, the four–legged, those who live in the waters, and those who watch over us from the skies

Sacred pollen, sacred Earth Mother, sacred water that manifest Your desires, O Creator and Great Mother, we thank them for the nourishment they give us equally, with no regard to race, color, or creed.

Creator and Great Mother, bless those standing before You who carry a sacred trust to all of us who inhabit Turtle Island, our homeland. And
I pray today that You will give them the wisdom and the courage to carry out their sacred trust with the same equality that we receive from the Sun and rain.

"Hurrd kem," thank you.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory