First Native American woman ever to serve as a U.S. federal judge confirmed by US Senate

Diane Humetewa was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week becoming the first Native American woman ever to serve as a U.S. federal judge. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe, will serve as a U.S. District Court judge for Arizona. She will be the third Native American federal judge in history and the only one currently active. 

Many people, especially in the Native American community, applauded her confirmation on Wednesday. Native Americans have been calling for increased representation in the federal judiciary for many years, especially in regions of the country with large Native American populations. In speaking about the significance of the appointment to Arizona, former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton said, "In this state more than any other, where we have 21 reservations and all felony offenses are tried in federal court, we do not have a bench that reflects the community it serves. And now, for the first time in our nation's history, we'll have a representative to the bench."

A graduate of Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, Humetewa previously served as the U.S. Attorney for Arizona for two years. She became the first Native American woman ever to serve as a U.S. Attorney when she took on the role in 2007. 

A Mighty Girl congratulates Diane Humetewa on her confirmation to the bench! 

To read more about her confirmation on AZ Central, visit

For more stories starring Native American girls and women, check out our blog post, "A Celebration of Native American and Aboriginal Mighty Girls for Native American Heritage Month," at 

For a wonderful picture book biography about another pioneering judge, we recommend the bilingual English/Spanish book "Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx / La juez que crecio en el Bronx" for readers 4 to 8 years old at 

For a diverse range of stories about women engaged civically whether as political leaders, government officials, or social activists, visit A Mighty Girl's "Civics & Government" section at 

And, for more than 450 true stories about trailblazing female role models in all fields, visit our "Biography" section at