Meet the National Native American Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Inductee Class
The National Native American Hall of Fame, an Indigenous nonprofit organization serving Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, has named their first class of inductees. About ten years ago, James Parker Shield, a member of the Chippewa Tribe and now-CEO of the Native American Hall of Fame, realized a hall of fame was needed to recognize the contributions of Native Americans was needed. Ten years later, the first group of honorees represent ten tribes in eight categories, such as science, athletics, and advocacy. Six are women. The 12 inductees are Lionel Bourdeaux, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a long-time educator and was the first President of Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet, acted as the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government for its mismanagement of Native American trust funds; Vine Deloria, Jr., Standing Rock Sioux, who wrote Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, credited as the first popular-culture novel to bring Native American oppression to the American public; LaDonna Harris, Comanche, is the President of Americans for Indian Opportunity, a nonprofit focused on furthering the rights of Indigenous people; John Herrington, Chickasaw, is the first Native American man to get to space, as an astronaut for NASA; Allan Houser, Apache, is considered one of the greatest Modernist sculptors of the 20th century; Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee Nation, was the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation; Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, who in 1964 won an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meter run. He was the first person from the Western Hemisphere to do so; N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, House Made of Dawn, which is considered the beginning of the Native American Renaissance; Lori Piestewa, Hopi, died in March 2003, making her the first woman to die in the Iraq War and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military; Maria Tallchief, Osage, was the first Native American to attain the title “prima ballerina”; and Jim Thorpe, Sac and Fox Nation, who in 1912, became the first Native American to win Olympic gold medals. The inaugural Induction Ceremony will take place on October 13th at Phoenix Indian School Memorial Hall in AZ. More here.