Native Village
Youth and Education news
March 1, 2010     Volume 1

White Face Among Best of the West
Defenders of the Black Hills
Condensed by Native Village

True West magazine has awarded Charmaine White Face a Best of the West award. White Face won the Best Living Indian Rights Crusader for 2010 award for her writing and her work with Defenders of the Black Hills.

The magazine stated: “She is a voice for the Black Hills--and it’s a task Charmaine White Face has gladly undertaken for more than two decades, as a columnist for several newspapers and an activist. She formed Defenders of the Black Hills in 2002, working to end logging, mining and exploitative tourism of this area, which is sacred to her Oglala Sioux tribe. Her work has received international recognition, and she hopes that will help return the Black Hills to its rightful owners--the American Indians.”

Ms. White Face was surprised by the award.  “I am totally flabbergasted,” she laughed, “I didn’t even know a disabled grandma could receive such an award.”

The  Defenders of the Black Hills seeks to increase public awareness of environmental issues in and around the Black Hills. Ms. White Face also tries to educate people about the Fort Laramie. This includes her work at the United Nations. She was Spokesperson for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council in 1994.

“My work has not just been for Indian people,” White Face said, “but for all the people in the United States. If the Constitution, the foundation of the country is weakened, then the whole structure will fall.” She refers to Article VI of the Constitution which states that ‘treaties are the supreme law of the land.’

White Face was educated at Black Hills State University and the University of North Dakota, She was a teacher and administrator before she began writing in the mid 1980s. More than 500 pieces of her work have been published.   She is currently finishing a collection of her writings.

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