Mary Peltola is first Alaska Native sworn into Congress

STORY: [Mary Peltola, Democratic Representative]

"It is the honor of my life to represent Alaska, a place my elders and ancestors have called home for thousands of years."

Location: Washington D.C.

The first Alaska Native elected to Congress has been sworn in

Peltola defeated Republican candidate Sarah Palin to fill Alaska's sole U.S. House of Representatives seat

Almost 20% of the state's population is Indigenous, the highest proportion in the United States

"To this day many people in my community carry forward our traditions of hunting and fishing. I am humbled and deeply honored to be the first Alaska Native elected to this body, the first woman to hold Alaska's House seat, but to be clear I am here to represent all Alaskans. "

Peltola replaces Republican Don Young who died earlier this year

She will serve out the remainder of his term before facing re-election in November