The Lumbee Tribe of N.C. honors the life and legacy of Native rights activist and scholar Ada Deer.
The Lumbee Tribe of N.C. honors the life and legacy of Native rights activist and scholar Ada Deer. Deer passed away this week. Her work across Indian country was life changing for Native People. The nation first started to see her grassroots work during the era of removal of tribes by the U.S. Government as she worked to restore recognition and save the land for her own Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Their federal recognition was terminated in the 1950’s, but through her work their federal rights were restored in 1973. Deer grew up in a log cabin on the Menominee Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. She was the first Native woman to run for Congress. She would become the first woman to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs after she was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Deer taught and lectured for many years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Last week, in honor of her 88th birthday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared August 7th as Ada Deer Day in Wisconsin. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. We are thankful for her life of service.