Lynnette Grey Bull
Lynnette Grey Bull is a Native American activist and politician who ran for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in both 2020 and 2022. A member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, Grey Bull has dedicated her career to advocating for indigenous peoples, with a focus on marginalized women and victims of violence. Her congressional campaigns centered on progressive policies related to renewable energy, healthcare access, reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, gun safety, and tribal sovereignty. Though unsuccessful in her bids for federal office, Grey Bull continues to be a prominent voice on issues impacting Native American communities in Wyoming and nationwide.
Early Life and Education
Lynnette Grey Bull was born in Riverton, Wyoming in 1978. She is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and grew up on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Her indigenous ancestry instilled in her a strong connection to her community and a commitment to preserving Native culture.
Grey Bull attended Sheridan College where she earned an Associate of Arts degree. She went on to the University of Wyoming, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. This education would provide the foundation for her future career advocating for underserved populations.
Career in Advocacy and Social Work
After obtaining her social work degree, Lynnette Grey Bull began working for non-profit organizations and government agencies supporting disadvantaged groups. Much of her focus has been on improving outcomes for Native American women, victims of violence, and survivors of human trafficking.
Work with Native American Women
Grey Bull served as Executive Director of the Arapaho Pregnancy and Parenting Center on the Wind River Reservation, providing resources to pregnant and parenting women in the tribe. She also worked as a Victim Advocate for abused Native women through the Violence Against Women federal program. These roles allowed her to directly assist women in her community who were most vulnerable.
Serving Victims of Abuse and Trafficking
In addition to her work with indigenous women, Grey Bull has extensive experience providing services to female victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She managed emergency shelters and support programs for survivors through her roles with organizations like the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network.
Initiatives to Find Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Much of Grey Bull’s recent work has focused on the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW). She served on Arizona’s MMIW task force and was an advisor to similar initiatives in Wyoming. Grey Bull’s testimony before Congress on the MMIW epidemic helped lead to increased awareness and legislation on this issue.
Entry into Politics
Driven by her advocacy experience and desire to create change, Lynnette Grey Bull made the decision to run for national public office in 2020. She sought to bring a progressive voice focused on women, minorities, and the environment to Wyoming’s all-Republican congressional delegation.
2020 Congressional Run
In 2020, Grey Bull entered the Democratic primary for Wyoming’s At-Large District U.S. House seat. Running on a platform of Medicare for All, renewable energy investments, and solving the MMIW crisis, she defeated two male candidates to win the nomination. Grey Bull went on to lose the general election to Republican incumbent Liz Cheney by over 30 points.
2022 Congressional Run
Grey Bull once again secured the Democratic nomination in 2022 for Wyoming’s lone House seat. With Cheney ousted in the GOP primary, Grey Bull faced Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman. Despite increasing her vote share from 2020, Grey Bull lost by an even wider 44-point margin as Hageman rode a red wave in the state.
Though unsuccessful in flipping the seat, Grey Bull’s two congressional runs highlighted issues important to Wyoming progressives and the state’s Native community. Her campaign aimed to inspire historically disenfranchised groups to engage in the political process.
Political Positions and Platform
Lynnette Grey Bull campaigned on a platform reflecting both her Native heritage and progressive ideals. Some key elements included:
Environment and Energy
- Transition Wyoming from fossil fuels to renewable energy production while protecting displaced workers
- Incentivize clean energy innovation to create jobs
- Pursue sustainable technologies like wind and solar power
Healthcare and Reproductive Rights
- Establish universal healthcare through an expanded Medicare system
- Protect and expand access to abortion and contraception
- Safeguard reproductive healthcare against partisan attacks
- Pass federal legislation protecting LGBTQ individuals from discrimination
- Oppose laws limiting rights of gay and transgender persons
- Support marriage equality and anti-discrimination protections
- Expand resources and benefits for veterans
- Eliminate veteran homelessness
- Reform Veterans Administration to improve healthcare
- Implement universal background checks and close gun sale loopholes
- Increase penalties for illegal firearm use
- Promote responsible gun ownership and safety
As a Native American, advocating for indigenous peoples was central to Grey Bull’s platform:
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
- Bring awareness to epidemic levels of violence against Native women
- Enhance law enforcement response and cross-jurisdictional coordination
- Fully fund federal MMIW legislation and task forces
- Reform Indian Health Services to improve tribal members’ access to quality care
- Increase resources for Native American students in public schools
- Expand funding for tribal colleges and universities
- Restore tribal authority to prosecute all crimes on reservations
- Incentivize cooperation between tribal and non-tribal law enforcement
While she came up short in her bids for Congress, Lynnette Grey Bull has emerged as an important voice on indigenous and progressive issues in Wyoming. Her career has been defined by advocacy for Native women, victims of violence, and vulnerable populations. Through her activism and campaigns, Grey Bull is working to raise awareness on matters impacting minorities, women, and marginalized groups. She continues to push for political and social reforms that will lead to greater equality, safety, and empowerment for all.
Who is Lynnette Grey Bull?
Lynnette Grey Bull is a Native American activist, social worker, and politician who ran for Congress in Wyoming in 2020 and 2022. She is a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe.
What issues did Lynnette Grey Bull focus on?
Grey Bull campaigned on progressive policies related to renewable energy, women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, gun safety, healthcare access, and indigenous issues like missing and murdered indigenous women.
What election did Lynnette Grey Bull run in?
Grey Bull was the Democratic nominee for Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District in both 2020 and 2022. She lost decisively in the general election both times to Republican candidates.
What work did Lynnette Grey Bull do before politics?
Grey Bull had an extensive career in advocacy and social services for Native women, domestic violence victims, survivors of sexual assault, and victims of human trafficking.
What are some of Grey Bull’s accomplishments?
Grey Bull helped bring awareness to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. She served on task forces and testified before Congress on this issue. Grey Bull also successfully advanced women’s and Native causes through non-profit work.