August 20, 2019

Celebrating Women's History with Ada Deer, Advocate for Native Americans

Cover of Ada Deer's autobiography "Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice"

photo by: University of Oklahoma Press

Ada Deer has spent her life advocating for American Indians across the United States. Born in 1935, she was the first Native American woman from Wisconsin to run for Congress, and the first American Indian to graduate with a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.

A member of the Menominee Tribe, she was pivotal in the passage of the Menominee Restoration Act of 1972 which restored the tribe to federally recognized status. In 1993, she was appointed the first woman Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, of the Department of Interior.

Today, Deer continues to be a tireless advocate and activist for human rights. We were honored to have Ada Deer as one of our PastForward 2019 keynote speakers at the TrustLive on Celebrating Women's History, which took place at the magnificent Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Head to Preservation Leadership Forum to read an excerpt from her forthcoming autobiography (out October 2019 from the University of Oklahoma Press), Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice.

While her day job is the associate director of content at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Priya spends other waking moments musing, writing, and learning about how the public engages and embraces history.


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