Revisiting the 2005 National Poll celebrating great native American people

 

in Alphabetical Order,  Nominations, 1-50

 

1. The 5 Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy/ Oneidas
The Oneida are one of the original 5 nations of the Iroquois Confederacy -- Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneida -- who once held 5.3 million
acres in upstate New York. In 1990 their reservation land was about 32 acres. "I vote for the Oneida and the 5 Nations for their strength through the struggle."

2. Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene) - Author/ Playwright
Words such as "inventive," "exciting," "brilliant," "profound," and "realistic" are often used to describe the award-winning work of Sherman Alexie, a prolific writer from the Spokane Indian Reservation. Alexie's works include The Business of Fancydancing, Indian Killer, Ten Little Indians, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (the basis for the 1998 movie Smoke Signals). Says a fan: Alexie teaches "Natives to laugh at themselves, to think of our commonalities, and that we are all human second, native first. Teaching Caucasians and all other races more human side of natives and making us be
real."

3. Paula Gunn Allen (Pueblo/Sioux) - Poet/ Feminist/ Novelist/ Critic
Paula Gunn Allen was born in 1939 and grew up near Laguna and Acoma Pueblo reservations in New Mexico. She was greatly influenced by her mother’s
matriarchal Pueblo culture, and her 1983 novel, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, reflected her upbringing. Though she is known for her feminist writing, she also received praise for her scholarly work which promoted Native literature as a rich source of academic study. Her 1983 book Literature: Critical Essays and Course Designs (1983) is considered a landmark text in Native American literary criticism. Allen also taught at the University of California.

4. Lori A. Alvord (Navajo) - 1st Navajo Female Surgeon
Stanford-trained Lori Alvord is the first Navajo woman to be board certified in surgery. She uses traditional Navajo healing with conventional western
medicine to treat the whole patient. Her book, The Scalpel and the Bear, is about her struggle to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Today she is the Associate Dean of Minority and Student Affairs at Dartmouth Medical University.

5. American Horse /Wasechun-tashunka (Sioux) - Tribal Leader
He was witty, wily, and a peacemaker. In 1876 he took the name and place of his uncle, American Horse, who was killed in the 1876 battle of Slim Buttes in
revenge for the defeat of Custer. The son of Sitting Bear, American Horse - born near the time of white encroachment and Native defense - was a councilor
of his people and a proponent of peace with the whites. One of the earliest advocates of Native education, American Horse's son and nephew were among the first Carlisle students.

6. Dave Andersen (Ojibwe/Choctaw) - Entrapeneaur/ Comunity Leader
A member and former tribal enterprise CEO of the Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe in Wisconsin, Anderson helped stabalize the tribal
business. Also, he headed the BIA and  served in a variety of public service positions but is most known for his 87-restaurant chain, Famous Dave’s, with $90 million in revenues. I nominate Dave Anderson because he is "currently trying to put Boys and Grils clubs on to reservations. But also because he is putting a lot of money into preservation of Heritiage, Language and arts.."

7. Anna Mae Pictou Aquash (Micmac) - Political Activist
Even today she reamins a powefully haunting icon of the indigenous rights movement and mlitancy of the 1970's. An active member of the AIM, her untimely -
and still unsolved - 1976 Pine Rigde Reservation murder continues to propel many people to continue her life’s work.

8. Marty Araynado - Graffiti Artist from California
(Could not locate a bio)

9. Rose Avad (Ojibwa) - Community Leader
"Rose Avad was a spiritual leader for thousands of women in recovery. She was a teacher, guide, role model for so many struggling with the problems of
drugs and alcohol, abuse and neglect. I met her through the American Indian Training Institute in Sacramento, California. We lost this California Native Woman of the Year to complications of her lung disease. She will aways be a light on my path."

10. Dennis Banks (Anishinabe Ojibwa) - An AIM founding father/ Activist/ Author/ Educator
Banks was born on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation (Minnesota) and, while at a BIA boarding school, he lost his native language. Banks would later go on to help found AIM - the American Indian Movement - and participate in some of the biggest protests and takeovers of the 60's and 70's such as the Alcatraz
occupation, the Trail of Broken Treaties, and the takeover of Wounded Knee. Banks founded the Sacred Run, acted in various movies, written books and was a university chancellor. I nominate Dennis Banks ‘for the tremendous impact their work in AIM has made"

11. Van Barfoot (Choctaw) - Military Hero
On May 23, 1944, Barefoot - a Second Lieutenant in the Thunderbirds - knocked out two machine gun nests and captured 17 German soldiers near Carano, Italy. Later that day he repelled a German assault tank, destroyed a Nazi field piece and carried two wounded commandeers to safety. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery and extraordinary heroism.

12. Adam Beach (Saulteaux Ojibwa) - Actor
Adam Beach is a well-known actor from the Dog Creek Indian Reservation in Manitoba, Canada. His first love was music but his heavy metal band did not
achieve the success he hoped for, so he turned to acting. His resume includes such films as: Joe Dirt, Windtalkers, Lost in the Barrens, Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, The Art of Woo, Song of Hiawatha, Coyote Summer, and A Thief of Time. He is probably best known for playing Victor Joseph in Smoke Signals (1998), a film that won the Audience Award and Film makers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival and is the first all-Native acted, written and directed film.  

13. Big Bear (Cree) - Tribal Leader
Big Bear, a Cree Chief, fought to make a better life for his people by refusing to sign a treaty he believed would sacrifice their rights and land. Unfortunately, he would sign years later in 1882 when his people were facing starvation. His tribe was involved in white settlers and some members were hanged. Big Bear was imprisoned for treason and released after two yeas. He then went to live on the Poundmaker reserve near North Battleford, dying the following year.

14. Edward Benton-Banai (Lac Court Orielles Ojibwe) - Educator/ Author
Edward Benton-Banai has a Master’s Degree in Education and founded the Red School House, an Indian-controlled school for children K-12. He is a pioneer in
culture-based curriculum/Indian alternative education, believing that education should be built on one’s heritage and cultural identity, and should encourage spirituality, creativity, and cultural pride. He helped found AIM and later authored The Mishomis Book, explaining Ojibwe tradition and culture. Benton-Banai said, "It is time to talk with our Brothers and Sisters of other nations, colors and beliefs. The ideas and philosophies of yesterday may be the key to the world family's future."

15. Big Foot (Minniconjou Sioux) - Tribal Leader
He became the chief of his people after the death of hi father, Long Horn, in 1874. A talented diplomatic and negotiator, he would often settle quarrels
between rival parties. After the Sioux Wars for the Black Hills (1876-77) Big Foot and his people were placed on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South
Dakota, where he helped his people to adapt to their new lives (they were one of the first Native people to raise corn in accordance to government
standards). He became active in the Ghost Dance movement and died with nearly 200 others at Wounded Knee.

16. Black Elk (Oglala Lakota Sioux) - Spiritual Leader
Nicholas Black Elk - known to many, simply, as Black Elk - was a Lakota Sioux spiritual leader of the Oglala band. He is remembered for his connection to the 1932 book, Black Elk Speaks, in which he remembers his pre-reservation days. He again speaks of his past, and of his people’s spiritual ways, in the 1953 book, The Sacred Pipe. Both works strongly influenced and informed the white culture on indigenous culture and spiritual practices. Those present for his
death reported unusual stellar phenomena such as falling stars and extremely bright northern lights.

17. Black Hawk (Northern Sauk and Fox) - Tribal Resistance Leader
He bravely led his people in their struggle against land concessions and dealings with the United States, he supported Tecumseh’s idea of Native unity and
confederacy, and his attempt to preserve his homeland from white settlers is often referred to as Black Hawk’s War. He became a prisoner of war, then met
with Andrew Jackson and eventually became a celebrity, touring the US. He dictated an autobiography in 1833, died in 1838 and by 1842 all tribal land was gone

18. Black Kettle (Southern Cheyenne) - Tribal Leader/Peace Negotiator
Black Kettle is best known for his attempts to negotiate peace between the Southern Cheyenne and the United States in the 1860s. Despite the 1864 Massacre of Sound Creek (under a flag of peace that waved above the village) Black Kettle continued to seek peace with the US, even though the US violated treaties and betrayed him over and over again. On November 27, 1868, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked the unsuspecting Cheyenne camp on the Washita River without warning, killing Black Kettle and most of the villagers.

19. Blue Jacket/Weyapiersenwah (Shawnee) - War Chief /Tribal Leader
Blue Jacket (1745-1810) was a Shawnee leader who opposed white encroachment and fought against white expansion. In 1778 he and his men captured Daniel Boone during a Kentucky raid. On August 20, 1794 he led Native people at the Battle of Fallen Timbers against General Anthony Wayne where he was defeated. The result was the Treaty of Greenville (1795) and over half of Ohio was ceded to the Americans. Blue Jacket died in 1810.

20. Abel Bosum (Oujé-Bougoumou Cree) - Chief/ Community Leader
Many say that the main reason the Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation in Quebec flourish today is because of Abel Bosum. In 1953 there were few financial
opportunities for his people, but within a decade Bosum helped his community secure land and raise millions for future development. Buildings were constructed and the people strived for conservation, self-sufficiency and retaining traditions. The award-winning community have received accolades from the United Nations and Abel Bosum was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for community development.

21. Elias Boudinot (Cherokee) - Editor/ Author/ Political Figure
At age 25 Boudinot became the first editor of The Cherokee Phoenix - the first bilingual newspaper printed in both Cherokee and English - and held that position until 1832 (the paper ceased publication in 1835). He moved west and worked with a book publisher. Boudinet supported the Cherokee’s move westward and even served in Congress, but he was eventually assassinated in retribution for his support of certain treaties and the Trail of Tears.

22. Billy Bowlegs (Seminole) - Chief / Community Leader
Also known as the "Alligator Chief," Billy Bowlegs was one of the most influential Seminole chiefs during the Third Seminole Indian War (A.K.A.: Billy
Bowlegs War). An accomplished politician, negotiator, and warrior, he was one of the last chiefs to be removed from the Florida Territory to Indian Territory.

23. Joseph Brant/Thayendanegea (Mohawk) - Hereditary Chief/ Tribal Leader
He was a spokesman, a Christina missionary, a British military officer during the United States War of Independence, and a leader of his people. He unified the upper New York tribal communities, leading them in raids against patriots in support of Great Britain. During and after the Revolutionary war he negotiated in both Canada and the US for land rights and is best known for establishing the Indian reservation on the Grand River in Canadawhere, Ontario.

24. Benjamin Bratt (Peruvian Qechua) - Actor
"I nominate the gorgeous and wonderful Benjamin Bratt. He’s a famous face known for his role on the Law and Order television show, but most of his fans
probably do not know that he’s also Native. His mom was at the Alcatraz occupation and he is one of the only real Native American actors on TV today who serves as a role model for all aboriginal children."

25. Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) - Author/Storyteller/ Poet
"Bruchac writes books that I can read and enjoy with my children." Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife in the same house his maternal grandparents raised
him in. His articles, stories and poetry have appeared in over 500 publications. Bruchac authored over 80 books, edited several anthologies, and won
numerous awards including the Cherokee Nation Prose Award, the Knickerbocker Award, and the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children's Literature. He has also won both the 1998 Writer of the Year Award and the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

26. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) - Politician / Judo Champion/ Jewelry Designer
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, Campbell's the first American Indian to serve in the Senate in more than 60 years. A leader in policy dealing
with public lands and natural resources, he is recognized for the passage of landmark legislation to settle Indian water rights. He fought and won to have
the Custer Battlefield Monument changed to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and he initiated and passed legislation to establish the National
Museum of the American Indian within the Smithsonian Institution. He’s also an all-American Judo champion and jewelry designer.

27. Canassatego (Onondaga) - Chief/ Tribal Leader
It is said the Canassatego, chief of the Onondaga nation, was a charismatic, eloquent debater and speaker. He often negotiated with the English
colonists who are said to have thought highly of him. He wanted the colonies to unify so his people could negotiate with them better, and he worked` to stop
sneaky traders from illegally taking tribal land and wrongful white encroachment.

28. Canonicus (Narragansett) - Chief / Tribal Leader
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Canonicus was the Grand Sachem of the Narragansett people living in New England. He ruled when the Pilgrims
landed, and in 1636 he granted Rhode Island to Roger Williams. At first Canonicus thought highly of the English, but that eventually changed, though he  continued to live peacefully nearby until Narragansett territory was invaded and resistance was necessary. He was put to death in 1676 for the crime of refusing to surrender the territories of his ancestors by a treaty of peace.

29. Captain Jack/Kintpuash (Modoc) - Subchief/ Military Leader
Kintpuash, A.K.A. Captain Jack, is best known for his involvement in the 1872-73 Modoc War. He was forced  onto an unsuitable reservation with former
enemies, the Klamath, and opted to flee into the California lava beds, resisting arrest and alluding US troops sent to capture him. In 1873 he was caught and charged with the murder of General Edward Canby. He was convicted to death by hanging, which occurred on Occtober 3, 1873. His death marked the end of a story of discrimination and conflict between Indians and whites.

30. Harold Cardinal (Cree) - Tribal Leader/ Author
"I nominate Harold Cardinal as a great Native American because he is one of Canada’s leading activist who helped mobilize us and our resistance to
government mistreatment, termination of tribal existence, other termination policies and treaty rights. He gave us a voice."

31. Johnny Cash (Cherokee) - Musician
Even though Cash admitted he embellished some of his Cherokee blood, several people nominated Johnny Cash for his contribution to Native people
through music, accepting him as a Cherokee brother. He was signed to the Sun Records label in 1954, toured with Elvis, and had a national hit by 1956. In 1964 he recorded the Native-themed album Bitter Tears. He won 11 Grammy awards before passing away in 2003.

32. Duane Champagne (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) - Sociologist/ Professor/ Author
"I nominate Duane because his books have helped me tremendously to reconnect to my grandparents and their history." and "Mr. Champagne’s books have been used in my home to educate my children about the truth of indigenous history. I cannot say enough about his education of people who need to know the truth."

33. Ernest Childers (Creek) - Military Hero
Ernest Childers, a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division, received the Medal of Honor - America's highest award for valor - for heroic action in
1943. He and eight men charged the enemy who was engaging in machine gun fire. He broke his foot during the assault but still ordered covering fire,
allowing him to advance uphill and single-handedly kill two snipers. His actions silenced two machine gun nests and captured an enemy mortar observer.

34. Wendell Chino (Mescalero Apache) - Tribal Chairman/ Community Leader
He wanted his people to thrive in the modern world and still retain their cultural traditions. A defender of Indian sovereignty, land-use rights, and tribal economics, he helped strengthen his people’s self-determination in the 1960's, and throughout the decades raised awareness for many Native issues. Chino was the tribe's first and only president, serving 17 terms over 34 years.

35. Maria Chona (Papago) - Historian/ Medicine Woman/ Basket Maker
"I vote for Maria Chona because she changed my life with her autobiography, Papago Woman. My daughter had to read this book, which I already loved, in her
social studies class to better understand Native people. We were blessed to have read it. She was a strong woman who stood up for herself and challenged
those around her because she did what she thought was right. I think she is the best Native woman in history."

36. Choncape/ Big Kansas (Oto) - Tribal Chief
Said to have several wives and a powerful temper, Choncape was part of the 16-men delegation, along with Big Elk and other leaders of the upper Missouri
tribes--the Kansa, Missouri, Omaha, Pawnee, and Oto - to go to Washington DC in 1821.

37. Chonmanicase (Oto) - Tribal Chief / Tribal Leader
Chonmanicase was a warrior who gallantly rose to become an Oto chief through his own brave merits. "Chonmanicase is a great leader of my grandfather’s
people and he is one who he spoke of as being a great man and an honorable man."

38. Ward Churchill (Creek/ Cherokee/ Keetoowah/ Metis) - Author/ Professor/ Activist
Some folks love him, some hate him, and others love to hate him. He’s been both embraced and scorned by Native people, withstanding scrutiny for everything from his writings to his bloodline. Though often controversial, his lectures are well attended and his books are read by many. An outspoken spokesperson
for aboriginal rights and issues since the 1970's, his books are often used in classrooms across the country.

39. Henry Roe Cloud (Winnebago) - Educator/ Administrator/ First Native Yale graduate
"Whenever I think of great Native Americans, or whenever I need an example to give to my children when in need of a great role model, I think of Henry Roe
Cloud. He founded the Roe Indian Institute, co-authored the famous Meriam Report, was the first indigenous graduate of Yale University, he led the Haskell
Institute and even served in the Office of Indian Affairs agency. He fought to preserve his culture and today he should be celebrated and remembered for all
his hard work!"

40. Cochise (Chiricahua Apache ) - Tribal Chief / Tribal Leader
Cochise was friendly with the whites until his relatives were hanged by US soldiers in 1861 for a crime they did not commit. After that, Cochise waged war
against the US and its attempts of tribal genocide on the Chiricahua Apaches. He would surrender in 1871, and then the Chiricahuas were ordered to move from Canada to a new reservation in New Mexico. Cochise refused to move there until 1872, where he died two years later. After his death his people were forced to endure another long, harsh and horrific walk to yet another reservation.

41. Mangas Coloradas (Mimbrenos Apache) - Tribal Chief / Tribal Leader
Mangas Coloradas, a natural leader in both intelligence and size (unusually tall for an Apache, he was over 6 ft), united the tribes, led them in a successful war of revenge, and cleared the area of settlers. When the Americans took possession of New Mexico in 1846, he pledged friendship to these conquerors of his Mexican enemies, but peace ended as the gold rush began. In 1851 a series of incidents culminated in hostilities when Mangas Coloradas suffered a humiliating flogging at the hands of miners. Leading his people, he waged warfare until his death in 1863.

42. Rita Coolidge (Cherokee) - Singer
She was a backup vocalist for Joe Cocker, Stephen Stills and Eric Clapton, married to Kris Kristofferson, earned a Grammy, and scored a hit with All Time High from the James Bond film Octopussy. She had several cover version hits such as (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, We're All Alone, The Way You Do The Things You Do and While I'm In Love. In 1997 she teamed up with her sister and niece to form Walela, which explored their Native American roots.

43. Polly Cooper (Oneida) - Good Samaritan
Polly Cooper "helped take corn to Washington and stayed to show the men how to cook the corn in the dead of winter." When George Washington’s sick and starving army were wintering at Valley Forge (1777-78) the people were assisted by the Oneida’s with the gift of corn. One Oneida, Polly Cooper, stayed to help the soldiers learn to prepare the food... and did so without accepting any financial payment other than a shawl from Washington, given to express his gratitude.

44. George Copway (Ojibway) - Writer/ Lecturer
He was Canada’s first Native American literary celebrity and lecturer who gained wide-spread recognition in the United States for his four books (mostly based on his life). He associated with other literary giants of his time such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Washington Irving, and some say he was Longfellow’s inspiration for the poem, The Song of Hiawatha in 1855.

45. Henen Cordero (Cochiti Pueblo) - Potter/ Storyteller Doll Inventor
"I nominate Ms. Cordero because she is the inventor of the Storyteller Doll for the Pueblo people and in the Pueblo tradition. She sculpted the Singing Mother doll that is known now the world over. She also made a male doll. She brought back this old tradition that was once common with the Pueblo’s and the dolls of the mothers singing and telling stories, with her mouth open and babies sitting around her and on her lap, are absolutely beautiful and a wonderful way to think of Pueblo and other southwest mothers."

46. Corn Planter (Seneca) - Tribal Chief / Tribal Leader
Cornplanter, often referred to as one of the most gallant warriors of his tribe, led American revolution war parties for the British against the colonist, but later favored friendship and signed the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784 (the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy disagreed with the treaty and refused to ratify it).
"Cornplanter is my choice because I think he’s a great leader who stood up for peace when peace was necessary for his people."

47. Crazy Horse/Tashunkewitko/ Tasunke Witko (Lakota) - Political and Spiritual Leader / Warrior and Cultural Hero
"Crazy horse epitomizes everything Native people were and are and should be." Ask an American child to name a famous Native American leader and Crazy Horse will often be the reply. He was a respected, heroic leader in the Sioux resistance to white encroachment, best known as the courageous warrior who brought the US Army to its knees at the Greasy Grass Fight (A.K.A.: Battle of the Little Bug Horn). The Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota, a stone monument, has been under construction since 1948. "He was and is the best Native warrior who ever walked the planet. So much is written about him because he was the bravest and the most amazing person out there. We all should keep him in our hearts and in our souls and do good work in his memory."

48. Charles Curtis (Kaw) - Politician/ United States Vice President
Charles Curtis served in the US Congress from 1829 to 1906, the US Senate from 1907 to 1913 and again from 1915 to 1929. He became Herbert Hoover’s running mate in 1928 and was Vice President from 1829 to 1933. He championed Native American rights to self-government with the Curtis Act (1898).

49. Mary Dann/ Carrie Dann (Western Shoshone) - Civil and Political Rights Activists
Mary and Carrie have waged a battle with the US government since 1972 for land rights and sovereignty, using both civil disobedience and litigation as their weapons. For their courage and dedication they received the 1993 International Right Livelihood Award (otherwise known as the alternative Novel Prize).

50. Datsolalee (Washo) - Basket Weaver
"My hero is Datsolalee of the Washo. She was one of the most famous basket weavers of all time and was know all over the world. She helped support her people with her baskets, and at that time her people were severely impoverished and in dire straits. She worked until her death at age 90 (1925) even though she was almost blind. Others learned how to weave, though she was the best and most detailed and her baskets were brilliant in every way. Five years after her death, one of her baskets sold for $10,000. Now they’re worth a quarter million!"

the Greatest Native American, Nominations, 51-100

51. Ada E. Deer (Menominee) - Community Social Worker/ Educator/ Politician
"I vote for Ada because she has done so much for her Native community and because she is the first woman to head the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. She has done so much for her people and for their growth as a culture. I think she is worthy to be in the top 100."

52. Dekanawidah/ Deganawida (Iroquois) - The Great Peacemaker
He is regarded as the author of the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy, an agreement that would peacefully bind together five Native Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca) sometime in the late 15th or early 16th century. It is a system of justice administered by hereditary chiefs. It is one of the earliest North American constitutions and the US Constitution is based on this document.

53. Joseph Dela Cruz (Quinault) - Tribal Leader/ Activist
He helped lead Native people toward self-development and is remembered as one of the greatest Indian leaders of all times. He was president of his tribe for 24 years, served 2 terms as President of the National Congress of American Indians, was President of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and co-chairman of the National State-Tribal Relations Commission. He diligently worked on issues of importance such as the environment, health care, education, economic diversity, tribal governance and cultural preservation. He crossed over in 2000.

54. Delaware Prophet/Neolin (Lenni Lenape) - Religious Leader
Many know his as Delaware, or the Delaware Prophet, but his real name was Neolin,  and he started speaking out against intertribal warfare, drunkenness, polygamy, materialism, and mysticism around 1762. His most famous follower was Pontiac, who listened to Neolin's advice regarding white resistance. One reader wrote, "For me, there is no greater leader than Neolin. He is everything I wish I could be."

55. Ella Cara Deloria (Yankton Lakota Sioux) - Ethnologist/Linguist/Novelist
"I vote for Ella Deloria! Her contribution to Native American language is well known among her people and needs to be known among the world. I love her book, Speaking of Indians, and recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about Sioux culture. And her book Waterlily paints a fantastic picture of what our life is really like and what it was like. Her work is invaluable and I hope those who do not know her will now read her books."

56. Joseph Deloria/ Tipi Sapa (Yankton Lakota Sioux) - Tribal Leader/ minister
He is the grandfather of Vine Deloria and the patriarch of all those who would come after him. He gave up his role as Tribal Chief to become the first Indian priest and bishop of the Episcopal church. A Statue of him stands in Washington D.C.

57. Vine Deloria Jr. (Yankton Lakota Lakota) - Author/ Educator/Writer/Activist
"My favorite Native American is Vine. His books have had a profound impact on my life. He is wise and wonderful."   Best known for Custer Died for Your Sins (1969), his works are considered some of the best contemporary indigenous books available today. A revolutionary thinker and activist who speaks out against the mistreatment of Native people by the US government, Deloria Jr. also simultaneously advocats traditional teachings and cultural preservation to young Natives. "Vine educated us white people about the life of Native people which breaks down racial walls and allows people to understand each other and to help each other. I read his books in college and have since become a huge fan."

58. Vine Deloria, Sr./ Ohiya (Yankton Lakota Sioux) - Minister
"I think the Deloria family is amazing and I nominate Vine Sr., born in 1901 and the brother of Ella Cara Deloria. Senior spent his life serving his people and was a voice for Indian Episcopalians, where he ministered for nearly 40 years. He was well respected by people of all cultures, all races, and was a great influential figure in his church."

59. Angel DeCora Dietz (Winnebago) - Artist/ Writer
She was an active member of the Society of American Indians and during the 1900's, when Native existence was extremely difficult and the Allotment Period was in full swing, she distinguished herself as a significant influence on Native Indian affairs and artwork. In 1906 she accepted a position at Carlisle Indian School as Director of the Art Department. She died in 1919.

60. Henry Chee Dodge (Navajo) - Tribal Leader
He is a well-known Navajo tribal leader who served his people as head chief, police chief, the first chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council, and as the first official Navajo interpreter (from the 1870's). "I like telling my kids stories about Henry because Navajo children need to know good people so they have someone to look up to."

61. Michael Dorris (Modoc) - Anthropologist/Writer
Though he founded the Native American Studies program at Dartmouth College (1972), he is best known for award-winning book, The Broken Cord (1989), which chronicles his experiences as the adoptive father of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. He won critical acclaim for A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987) and in 1981 he married novelist Louise Erdrich. They wrote together under the pseudonym Milou North.

62. Dull Knife (Cheyenne) - Principal Leader
He was one of two Cheyenne leaders who led a group back to their eastern Montana homeland after the exile to Indian country in the late 1870's. They allied with the Lakota to defeat George Armstrong Custer at Little Bighorn in 1876, and within a year were being chased by the US military until their eventual surrender in 1877. Dull Knief died in 1883 and was buried on high ground near his home.

63. Eagle of Delight (Oto) - Charismatic Wife
President McKinney was captivated by Eagle of Delight, one of the wives of Oto chief, Shaumonekusse. He called her "young and remarkably handsome." She was charming, beautiful, and charismatic.

64. Anita G. East (Choctaw) - Community Leader
"I am nominating Anita for the way that she has worked so hard to educate Indian people about their health. I am an example of the work that she has done. I know without the help and guidance offered by Anita. I would not have been able to remain smoke free these last three years. She has told me several times, something I could hear her say each time that I had an urge to smoke. "Tobacco is a sacred plant, and its misuse is why it is so dangerous to your health.". I know that there are several others that she has educated on health issues."

65. John Echohawk (Pawnee) - Attorney/ Rights activist
He was the first graduate of a special law program for Native Americans at the University of New Mexico and today one of the most influential lawyers in the United States. Co-founder and executive director of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), John Echohawk has been involved in supporting Indian rights all over the nation. For his grand work, he received the President’s Indian Service Award from the National Congress of American Indians.

66. Walter Echohawk (Pawnee) - Attorney / Rights activist
He’s a prominent attorney known for his work with Native American rights and as a staff member for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). Walter Echohawk served as co-director of NARF’s American Indian Religious Freedom Project and director of the Indian Corrections Project. He is a justice on the Pawnee’s Supreme Court and a leading voice in the fight for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

67. Jerry Chris Elliott (Osage-Cherokee) -  NASA Scientist
"He is 1/4 Cherokee and ¼ Osage. He is, I believe, one of the few, if only, physicists/scientist from the Indian nation that has made a large impact on society in many good ways." Chris Elliot, a physicist with NASA, played a major role (while leading Mission Control in Houston) in bringing three American astronauts safely back to Earth after an onboard explosion. For his actions he won the highest U.S. civilian honor: The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

68. Louise Erdrich (Ojibway/Chippewa) - Author
Her books, Love Medicine (1984), The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988), The Bingo Palace (1994) and Four Souls (2004) are steeped in Native culture, confirming her inclusion on any list of top Native American authors. In 1991 she co-published The Crown of Columbus with husband Michael Dorris.

69. Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) - Film maker
I nominate Chris Eyre "for being one of the rare film makers with all NA cast." He’s determined to eliminate stereotypical, offensive and humiliating representations of Native people and culture in today’s film and television. He adapted the critically acclaimed movie Smoke Signals from Sherman Alexie’s book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. Other movies include Doe Boy (2001), Skins (2002), Skinwalkers (2002), A Thief of Time (2003), and the music video, Things We Do (1998) for the blues-rock band Indigenous.

70. Harry Fonseca (Maidu/Hawaiian)- Artist
Fonseca majored in fine art at the California State University, but most of his techniques are self-taught. Often described as "One of the hottest young artists in New Mexico," he is known best for his Coyote paintings. His work has been featured in prominent galleries through-out the United States, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. "Harry Fonseca is my favorite indigenous artist. His work is often whimsical, but always brilliant."

71. Frank Fools Crow (Teton Sioux) - Ceremonial Chief
Some say Frank Fools Crow is the greatest Native spiritual leader of the last decade. The nephew of Black Elk, he believed in sharing his wisdom with as many people as possible - regardless of race. Though criticized for giving away cultural/Medicine secrets, Fools Crow thought his people’s survival depended on the many races working together for the benefit of the planet.

72. Billy Frank (Nisqually) - Activist
He has been Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) for 22 years. His contributions to the rights of Natives in accessing their fishing rights (personally and commercially) helped to change policy and raise awareness. Jailed many times for his grass roots activism work and civil disobedience,  his years of resistance paid off in 1974 with the favorable legal decision in U.S. v. Washington, the "Boldt Decision." For his humanitarian service, he was presented with the 1992 Albert Schweitzer Award, a prestigious $10,000 honorarium.

73. Gall (Hunkpapa Sioux) - War Chief / Tribal Leader
He refused to accept the 1868 treaty that would have confined him to a reservation. Rather, Gall joined Sitting Bull and acted as chief military lieutenant in the defeat of George Armstrong Custer in the battle of Little Bighorn (1876). He fled to Canada, but eventually surrendered to US officials and agreed to live on a reservation where he accepted forced assimilation until his 1894 death

74. Crystal Gayle (Cherokee) - Singer
Crystal Gayle is known best for three things: her floor-length hair, her famous sister Loretta Lynn, and for her soft, smooth voice singing those country-pop songs. She honored her grandfather’s Cherokee heritage when she was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame.

75. Hanay Geiogamah (Kiowa/ Delaware) - Choreographer/ Editor/ Playwright
He’s written dozens of plays and brought Native American dance to people all over the world. Geiogamah edited a journal that showed how important Native American culture was to modern day university curriculum, and in the 1970's he created the Native American Theater Ensemble (NATE) to give Natives a place to perform (twice on national television).

76. Charles George (Cherokee) - Military Hero
Charles George, a Private First Class in Korea, was killed in action in 1952 by throwing himself upon a grenade, smothering it. He sacrificed his life but saved his fellow soldiers, and for this he was ordered the Medal of Honor in 1954.

77. Dan George (Burrard Squamish) - Actor/ Tribal Leader
"I loved watching Chief Dan George’s movies. He always looked so honorable, and yet gentle and kind. His voice was soothing and he is dearly missed in all movies released after his death." He worked as a longshoreman, logger, and musician before becoming Chief of the Tell-lall-watt band of the Burrard Tribe of Coast Salish in 1951. He branched into acting in 1959, hoping to change stereotypical images of Native Americas.

78. Geronimo/ Goyathlay (Chiricahua Apache) - Tribal Leader / Hero
Geromino is one of the most famous Native Americans of all time. Mexican soldiers singled him out as a daring (perhaps even supernatural) leader, and even reportedly gave him the nickname Geromino. He died in 1909, a prisoner of war who could never return to his homeland. "He was the ultimate leader, husband, father, and warrior and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest Americans, let alone Native Americans. He was brave and fearless, wanting to defend his land and live a life of freedom. Even today nearly all school children know of the brave hero, Geronimo."

79. Tim Giago (Oglala Sioux) - Publisher/Author
"My favorite American aboriginal is Tim Giago who is the editor and publisher of the largest independently owned American Indian weekly newspaper. He’s written tons of articles and won tons of awards."

80. James Gladstone (Blackfeet) - Politician
"I nominate James Gladstone because he was Canada’s first Native American senator on the Canadian Parliament and did so for 13 years. He fought for all our rights and wanted to keep First People’s traditions alive. He advocated a philosophy of "hold tradition with one hand and reach forward with another" and I think this is the way we should all live. We should all follow his path and live according to this creed."

81. R. C. Gorman (Navajo) - Artist
He has been called the "Picasso of American Indian artists," and one of the leading Native American artists from the United States. His portraits of Navajo women were vivid, uninhibited and bold. "I love Gorman’s paintings. They make me proud of my Navajo ancestry." + "He was the only living indigenous person to have his work shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and he showed everyone that we are a people of today and not of yesterday."

82. Graham Greene (Oneida) - Actor
"Grahamn Greene for a modern day person, he is an excellent actor and has accomplished much for the Native people in his acting by showing that you can still define whom you are ,where you come from and love of your ancestor's in a business dominated by a white society. He is a great achiever in many other activities as well." His roles include Dances with Wolves (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), and The Green Mile (1999).

83. Louis Hall (Mohawk) - Tribal Chief/ Artist
He served 19 years as a Mohawk chief and was a major source of inspiration to the 1970's resurgent of the Warrior Societies (he designed the Mohawk Warrior flag, wrote the Warriors Handbook and was involved in the Moss Lake occupation of 1974).

84. Tex Hall (Mandan/Arikara) - Educator/ Community Leader
Tex Hall grew up on his family's cattle ranch, following in their footsteps as ranchers. In 1998 he was elected Chairman of his tribe and then again in 2002. Named North Dakota Educator of the year in 1995, he's committed to making sure children receive a good education. Tex Hall was elected President of the National Congress of American Indians in 2001, leading the fight for tribal sovereignty and rights.

85. Handsome Lake (Seneca) - Religious Leader
Handsome  Lake was a great leader, the brother of Cornplanter, and a Seneca prophet who played a major role in the Senecas of the Iroquois League. He preached a mix of traditional and white teachings - they came to him during a series of visions - which would later be published as the Code of Handsome Lake. Even after his 1815 death, his teachings have continued, eventually becoming the foundation for the Longhouse religion (which is alive today).

 86. Joy Harjo (Muskogee) - Poet/ Author/ Musician/ Educator
"I love Joy's poetry. She is dark, mesmerizing, spiritual, thought-provoking, political and earthy - all at the same time. How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems is intense and beautiful. She is a grand poet with works as wonderful and amazing as any other great poet. She is a delight to have as a role model for Native people everywhere."

87. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne) - Administrator
She is president and director of the Morning Star Institute in Washington D.C. - the oldest and largest Native advocacy group in the United States - and works   treaty rights and entitlements such as education, land, housing, health benefits and monetary promises made to all Native people. Harjo is also a musician, poet, radio show host, and one of the founders of the Spiderwoman Theater Company in NYC.

88. LaDonna Harris (Comanche) - Activist
An outspoken advocate for issues that pertain to Native people, women, children, and the mentally ill, in 1970 she founded American for Indian Opportunity, a national multi-tribal organization devoted to developing the economic opportunities and resources of American Indians throughout the United States. In 1967, Harris was invited by Lyndon Johnson to chair the National Women's Advisory Council of the War on Poverty.

89. Ira Hayes (Pima) - Military Hero / WWII Figure
The tragic story of Ira Hayes is hauntingly woeful. Born on the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona, Hayes became an unwilling Indian Icon for the US government once a photograph of him and five other marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima during WWII in 1945 was published. Three of those men would die shortly after the famous photograph, and only 5 of Hayes''s 45-men platoon would survive the war. Hayes was used by President Truman to sell war bonds, even though Hayes constantly proclaimed that he was no hero. He became an alcoholic and died in 1954, 10 weeks after a monument of the photo was dedicated in Washington DC.

90. He-Dog (Oglala) - Tribal and military leader
Warrior brother to Crazy Horse, He-Dog began fighting in his early teens and was involved in a heroic battle between a large US military force and the Sioux. He fought with Crazy Horse many times, including the defeat of Colonel Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn. He led his people off - and then on - the reservation, dying on the South Dakota Pine Ridge reservation at age 100.

91. Hendrick (Mohawk) - Chief / Tribal Leader
He was born about 1860 and died in 1755. Hendrick fought on the side of the British and in 1754 attended the Albany congress that called for the making of the Six Nations treaty. Marching against the french and alongside the army of Sir William Johnson (always wearing the uniform of a British officer), he later allowed the transfer of 100,000 acres of tribal land to Sir William Johnson.

92. John B. Herrington (Chickasaw) - First Native American NASA Astronaut
He's the first and only American Indian Astronaut. "I nominate John Harrington because I feel that he is such a role model to young Natives. He is the FIRST astronaut, this is a great leap forward for our people. He is a contemporary role model, which is important because we need role models right now. I wish him the best of luck and I hope he speaks to kids everywhere so we al know that we can do anything the other races can do."

93. Hiawatha (Onondaga or Mohawk) - Tribal Leader/ Peacemaker
Whether he was Onondaga or Mohawk, the founder of the Iroquois Confederacy or a composite of several legendary tribal leaders, Hiawatha is a beloved figure in Native American history who is said to have founded the Great Law with Dekanawida which established law and order among several warring tribes.

94. Ron His Horse is Thunder (Hunkpapa Sioux) - Educator
I vote for Ron His Horse is Thunder, "President of Sitting Bull College. He often leads groups of children out on horseback to teach them about their heritage and nature." Today he works to bring higher education and economic development to the Standing Rock reservation and has developed a Tribal Business Information Center to aid small business development for reservation residents.

95. Hole-in-the-Day (Ojibway) - Tribal Leader
He was a handsome man and an eloquent speaker,  and from 1855 to 1864, Hole-in-the-Day was a well-known figure in Washington due to his frequent visits for tribal affairs. Favored by the US government even though some of his own people suspected him of making treaties without their consent, he would lose such favor (with the US) after he exposed the government frauds pertaining to his people. He would aid in their defense and oppose the removal of what is now White Earth reservation. When defeated he vowed never to go on the new reservation. He kept his word.

96. Gabriel Horn/White Deer of Autumn (Wampanoag) - Activist/ Teacher/ Writer
Gabriel Horn is a writer, educator, and lecturer who helped establish the Minneapolis American Indian Art Gallery and the Living Traditions Museum. For his work with Native American rights he was nominated for the Human Rights Award in the state of Minnesota. His books include The Wisdom Keepers, Native Heart, Ceremony in the Circle of Life, and The Great Change.

97. Allan Houser (Fort Sill Chiricahua Apache) - Artist/ Art Instructor
"My vote goes to Apache artist Allan Houser who's work blows me away! He could work in almost any medium and in 1992 he was the FIRST Native to receive the National Medal of Arts award that was given to him by the first George Bush. He met President Bill Clinton also and created a sculpture for the American people that is to remind us all that we can have peace."

98. Indigenous (Nakota) - Rock/Blues Musical Band
They are a rock/blues band consisting of three brothers (Mato Nanji, Pte, and Horse) and one sister (Wanbdi). Members of the Nakota Nation, they grew up on the South Dakota Yankton Indian Reservation and was inspired through out childhood by their father, musician Greg Zephier. Indigenous won acclaim from critics and artists such as Bonnie Raitt, the Indigo Girls, and Jackson Browne. Their first album debuted in 1998.

99. Ishi (Yana) - Survivor
"I vote for Ishi, the last of his Yana people who appeared to the world in 1911 alone and in need of help. He opted to live with the white men and not on a reservation, and was "civilized" by the dominate culture who took pity on him because he was the end of the indigenous era - according to the whites, that is. He is what they wanted. An end to a race. So they parted him and when he died in 1916, they burned his body but kept his brain. For me, I see him as a lone survivor. He was lost and lonely and the last of his people. His tragic story is what we are all about and what they wanted us to be. But we survived too."


100. Frank James/ Wamsutta (Aquinnah Wampanoag) - Activist/ Musician
Though Frank James gained national attention in 1970 when he and hundreds of supporters went to Plymouth, Massachusetts and declared Thanksgiving a National Day of Mourning, he was also a brilliant trumpet player and music teacher. James was the first Native American graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music (1948), but due to segregation and racism, he was told that no orchestra in the country would hire him. In 1957 he became a music teacher, and then the Director of Music of the Nauset regional Schools, retiring in 1989. He dedicated his life to Native activism, participating in the Trail of Broken Treaties, the BIA takeover, the Long Walk to Washington, and his work with UAINE. Frank James crossed over in 2001.

 the Greatest Native American, Nominations, 101-150

101. Joseph (Nez Perce) - Tribal Leader
Often referred to as Old Chief Joseph, he was the principal chief of the Wallowa Nez Perces and is best known as the father of the beloved Chief Joseph. He first advocated peace with the United States and even reluctantly agreed to an 1855 treaty, but eventually became disenchanted with the government, speaking out against treaties for the Nez Perce. Completely blind, his son assumed leadership.

102. Chief Joseph/ In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat (Nez Perce) - Tribal Leader
Best known for his resistance to the US government's attempts to forcibly place and hold his people on reservations, Chief Joseph received numerous nominations for this list including: "I believe that Chief Joseph is the all-time greatest Native hero, and greatest American hero. He fought for his people and for their rights. He did all that he could. He's my favorite!" and "Because his trek through several states, defeating the efforts of 3 different generals, and that emotional capitulation 40 miles from freedom, have made him a special heroic figure of the Native American scene of the time, even to the eyes of the white people."

103. Betty Mae Jumper (Seminole) - Tribal leader/ Publisher
She was born in a small village in the Everglades and grew up in a traditional Seminole community in Florida. Jumper went to school for nursing, worked to improve health care for her people, launched a tribal newsletter in 1950 (which would become a newspaper), acted as a tribal representative and in 1967 was elected head of the Tribal Council (the first woman to do so). She was named Top Indian Women of the year in 1970, and in 1971 she became the publisher of the Seminole newspaper.

104. Keokuk (Sauk and Fox) - Principal Tribal Leader
He was the great rival of Black Hawk and after the War of 1812, when Black Hawk strongly resisted the US attempts of the US government to remove Sauk-Fox westward,  Keokuk made every possible attempt to work with the government in order to avoid all conflicts that could destroy his people. Keokuk signed a treaty requiring tribal surrender of all claims to disputed land clams in return for cash and other considerations and was talked into giving away more land and moving onto a reservation. He died in 1848.

105. Winona LaDuke (Anishinabe) - Activist/ Community Leader/ Vice Presidential Candidate
She is the Program Director of Honor the Earth, the Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project, and in 1989 she received the Reebok Human Rights Award, which helped her to start the White Earth Land Recovery Project. Time magazine named her one of America's 50 most promising leaders under age forty (1994) and she has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award (1996), the Ann Bancroft Award, the Global Green Award and the 1997's Ms. Woman of the Year Award. She twice ran for Vice President on the Green party ticket with Ralph Nader.

106. Joseph La Flesche/ Iron Eyes (Omaha) - Tribal Leader
He was the son of a Frenchman, a Ponca mother, and the adopted son of the first Chief Big Elk - who eventually named Iron Eyes his successor as tribal chief. As leader of the Omahas, he favored education and civilization of his people - as a matter of survival - so the could live peaceably alongside the white invaders whom, he assumed, were going to occupy and take over his land. Iron Eyes wanted his people to be farmers, to educate their children, and to have rights and citizenship like those of the whites, which would allow the Omaha's to smoothly ease into the new society.

107. Susan La Flesche Picotte (Omaha) - First Native American Woman Physician
"Susan truly had faced obstacles above and beyond those faced by nineteenth century white women, yet she overcame every one and dedicated her life to her grateful people. Her story is a litany of frontier vignettes of which classic legends are made, and it needs no embellishment. Dr. Susan could very well emerge as one of the more notable heroines in American History." and "Susan LaFlesche graduated top of her class and worked for improved health conditions of her tribe including a reservation hospital."

108. Susette La Flesche Tibbles/ Bright Eyes (Omaha) - Native rights advocate and activist
She was highly educated, an amazing speaker, and an advocate for Native American education and human rights. Susette became a celebrity in 1879 when she involved herself with the Standing Bear trial and subsequent win for his rights as a citizen in the United States. She traveled the country with Standing Bear, speaking out against Native oppression and for their citizenship and basic civil rights. She married journalist Thomas Tibbles, continued to lecture through out England in the late 1890's, and was a frequent magazine contributor. Bright Eyes died in 1903.

109. Phil Lane Jr (Yankton Dakota/Chickasaw) - Tribal Leader/ Educator
Phil Lane Jr is an internationally recognized leader in human and community development, working with Indigenous people in the America's as well as Thailand, India, Africa, and Hawaii. With his guidance and presidency, Four Worlds' Economic Development has become an internationally recognized leader in social and economic development. Lane received the 1992 Windstar Award as well as the 2000 Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Award in Berne, Switzerland.

110. William Least Heat Moon (Osage) - Author
He's an author known best for his award winning travel writings including Blue Highways, a best-selling book about his travels around the nation's back roads.

111. Edmonia Lewis (Chippewa) - Sculptor
Though she had no formal education, Edmonia Lewis entered Oberlin College's Young Ladies Preparatory Department in 1859 (Oberlin College was the first in the nation to admit women) but left after being falsely accused - and then beaten by a white mob -  for allegedly poisoning two white students. She settled in Boston to study with sculptor Edward A. Brackett, and then to Rome to work in the same studio as Caravaggio. Her work was impressive and today she is known not only as the first Native American sculptress, but also the first African American female sculptor (from her father's side).

112. Georgianna Lincoln - Politician/ Commercial Fisherman / Activist
Her hometown is Rampart, Alaska and she is considered one of the most prominent Alaskan Native political leaders of all times. She's worked since the 1960's on behalf of aboriginal land claims - a movement that led to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act - and won a Senator seat, representing the largest Senate district in the United States. Today she is the program director for the Tanana Chiefs, a non-profit human services agency serving about 43 villages,  and a commercial fisherman.

113. Little Crow (Kaposia Sioux) - Tribal Leader
He was a principal figure in an effort by the Sioux to escape the horrid 1862 Minnesota reservations; an escape that would initiate the "Great Sioux Uprising," which ended with the largest mass hanging in U.S. history. Little Crow escaped the 1864 massacre, but was later shot to death by a farmer while foraging for berries. His remains were on display at the Minnesota State Capitol until 1915.

114. Sacheen Littlefeather/ Maria Cruz (Yaqui) - Actress
She is a minor movie actress best known for dressing in an Apache dress and rejecting an 1973 Oscar on behalf of boycotting actor Marlon Brando with a prepared political statement protesting the mistreatment of American Indians in Hollywood and television. Some biographies claim that "Littlefeather" is Hispanic, not Yaqui.

115. Little Turtle/Me-she-qui-no-qua (Miami) - Tribal and Military leader/ Hero
"Little Turtle beat the U.S. Army twice. (Generals Harmar and St. Jean). His victories forced Constitution writers to put Indian clause in Article I, section 8, to make sure states didn't mess up federal treaties. (Even though they did anyway.) But he was also a leader for peace - a rare combination." He's called the last Chief of the Miami, was a principal chief among the coalition of Shawnees, Miamis, Delawares, Potawatomis, Ottawas, Chippewa's, and Wyandots, and led the defeat of General Arthur St. Clair, considered the worst defeat ever suffered by the U.S. Army at the hands of Natives.

116. Little Wolf (Cheyenne) - Principal Leader
He was a handsome man with a dignified, noble nature and eloquent speech. Little Wolf was the bearer of the Sacred Chief's Bundle (an extremely important position) and he led the Cheyennes from illegal exile in Indian Territory back to their homeland (Montana) during the late 1870's. He was allowed to remain near his homeland for the remainder of his life, which ended in 1904.

117. Kevin Locke (Lakota) - Traditional Flute Player/ Hoop Dancer/ Grammy Winner/US Ambassador
"I would like to nominate Kevin Locke as one of the Greatest Native Americans. Kevin Locke is an accomplished hoop dancer and flute player. Everywhere he goes, he teaches people about the history, beauty and immeasurable value of his traditional cultural practices. Kevin is a beautiful person. He dedicates much of his time to the education of the youth of this nation (as did his mother who will be inducted to the National Women's Hall of Fame this coming fall). Kevin has done a great deal to uplift his people and indigenous people around the world. I believe he is a truly great America
n!"

118. Patricia Locke (Lakota) - Activism/ Community Service
"I nominate a wonderful woman I had the privilege to meet years ago, Patricia Locke because she helped start 13 Indian Colleges. I also attended her Memorial Service. She was also a MacArthur Scholar for her work in getting Indian languages taught in schools. As far as national prominence---she was elected by people across the USA to serve on the Baha'i National Spiritual Assembly and was its Vice Chairman when she died in 2001. For all this and more, she is one of only 10 women voted into the US Women's Hall of Fame for 2005!"

119. Chief Logan/ James Logan/Tachnechdorus (Mingo) - Tribal Leader
Logan was a leader of the Native people along the Ohio and Scioto rivers and life-long friend of the whites until his family was massacred in 1774 by white settlers. He then joined Chief Cornstalk in his fight against the British. Refusing to attend a peace meeting in Chillicothe, Ohio, instead he sent an eloquent letter considered to be one of the finest example of Native American writing. He died in 1780.

120. Lone Wolf (Kiowa) - Tribal Leader
He was one of nine who signed the famous Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 that would place the Kiowa on a reservation. Lone Wolfe headed a delegation to Washington in 1872, but the following year participated in raids due to the murder of his son by a white Texan. Declared hostile, he  was defeated by the military who then deported him to Florida, where he was confined for three years. He died one year after his release in 1879.

121. Low-Dog (Lakota) - Tribal Chief
Low-Dog was a respected warrior who became war chief at the remarkable age of 14. He participated in the Battle at Little Big Horn and his account of the battle is one of history's best known.

122. Loretta Lynn (Cherokee) - Singer/ Song Writer
When you think of country music, there's a chance Loretta Lynn will come to mind. She's had more than 70 hits, an autobiography and a movie about her life. Lynn started off as a married mother of four, but a decade later she would be signed to a record label (1959). She and her husband insistently promoted her music, getting DJ's to play her records, which allowed her to climb the music charts slowly but surely. She received the Legend Award (1996) and her 2004 album with Jack White, Van Lear Rose, was a hit.

123. Oren Lyons (Onondaga) - Traditional Chief/ Author/ Educator/ Artist
Oren Lyons is active in international indigenous rights, environmental and sovereignty issues, and preserving bio-diversity. In 1992 this Associate Professor in the American Studies Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo, reaped the reward of his efforts when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 1992 that formally acknowledged the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy to the development of the United States Constitution. He is also the publisher of "Daybreak," a national Native American news magazine.

124. David Mahooty (Zuni) - Business
"David is a real go-getter who had high hopes of being in the competitive world of finance. He has worked his way up (as
they say, the corporate ladder) and has proven his worth in the world of banking. He set high goals in his early and worked hard at his education. He's very well-liked by his peers and people in the business world. He also has given back to his community in many ways and mostly, he has not forgotten that he is Zuni in every way."

125. Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee) - Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
She was the first female in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe (the second largest in the US) with an enrolled population of more than 140,000 and an annual budget of $75 million. Her responsibilities can be likened to that of a major corporation. "Simply put, as a Woman she has stood her ground as a leader in this society, leading her people with poise and grace. Women are revered and respected in Native society and can even lead our people to great things."

126. Maria Martinez (Pueblo) - Potter
She's been referred to as the most famous Indian artist of all time. Maria Montoya Martinez brought about a revival of indigenous pottery-making techniques that transformed the art of making potter and won hundreds of national and international awards. Her amazing work transformed her poor farming community into one of the leading Pueblo arts and crafts centers in the Southwest.

127. Massasoit (Wampanoag) - Tribal Leader
He lived from 1580-1661 and was the principal leader of the Wampanoag when the English settled New England. He encouraged friendship with the "settlers," negotiated a treaty between the two groups, and forged personal ties that helped maintain good relations during his lifetime.

128. Alexander McGillivray (Creek) - Tribal Leader
He was born in 1759 to a Scottish trader and his French-Creek wife. Given a classical education before his return to his mother's people at the beginning of the American Revolution, he eventually became tribal leader of the Creek, and then of a grand national council with more than 10,00 warriors. He fought against encroachment and refused proposals for peace until 1790. Records describe him as ambitious, flamboyant, and fond of power. He died in 1793.

129. William McIntosh/ White Warrior (Creek) - Military Leader
White Warrior was the son of Captain McIntosh, an affluent Georgia man, and Sonoya, a Creek president of the prominent Wind Clan. Raised Indian by his mothers family (he never met his father), he fought on the American side of several conflicts and even made brigadier general in the US Army. He was killed in 1825 on his Chattahoochee River plantation.

130. Russell Means (Lakota Sioux) - Activist/ Actor/ Author
For over two decades Russell Means has been an outspoken activist for Native American rights. A major figure in the AIM, Means participated in the 71-day siege at Wounded Knee, has led the American Indian Anti-Defamation League since the late 1980's, and in 1970 he and a group of Indians confronted costumed "Pilgrims" on Thanksgiving in Plymouth Massachusetts. He later turned to acting and writing.

131. Metacom/ King Philip (Wampanoag) - Tribal Leader
He was the second son of Chief Massasoit and would become chief in 1662 following the death of her father and then his brother - who presumably died at the hands of the colonists. Metacom was an unbending, frightening leader who often found it difficult to deal with settlers. War was waged between the two parties and entire Native villages were massacred and decimated. In 1676 Metacom's wife and son were taken captive and sold into slavery. Metacom was beheaded;  the head of this great leader (who was about 38 years old) was displayed on a pole for 25 years in Plymouth.

132. Miantonomo (Narragansett) - Tribal Leader
Nephew of Canonicus, in 1637 he aided the English colonist in the Pequot War. He signed a peace treaty between his people and the English - but it was violated due to military warfare in 1643. Miantonomo was captured by Uncas, the Mohegan Chief, and tried by a committee who sentenced him to death.

133. Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux) - Olympic Gold Medalist/ Athlete
Mills won the 10,000 meter race at the 1964 Olympic games in Japan earning a gold medal in what has been called one of the greatest moments in Olympic history (and quite possibly the most sensational Olympic race ever run). Mills, the the only American ever to win this race, is today a noted motivational speaker and role model for Native and non-Natives alike.

134. N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) - Poet/ Author/ Scholar/ The only Native Pulitzer Prize winner
His critically acclaimed writings focus on Kiowa traditions and beliefs, and Momaday is considered one of the most successful and talented contemporary Native American literary figures. Awarded the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel House Made of Dawn, he also received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters grant. Momaday is a professor, lecturer, a consultant of the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts since 1970 and a member of the Gourd Dance Society -  the ancient fraternal organization of the Kiowas.

135. Jack C. Montgomery (Cherokee) - Military Hero
In 1944 Jack Montgomery was a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds stationed in Italy who led a platoon that was confronted by German infantry. Montgomery's rifle platoon was under fire by enemy forces, yet he single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. As a result of his courage, Montgomery's actions demoralized the enemy, inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops, and captured 21 prisoners - right before he was seriously injured. He was summoned to the White House by President Roosevelt for his "selflessness and courage" and given the Congressional Medal of Honor.

136. Naiche (Chiricahua Apaches) - Tribal Leader
Naiche fought alongside Geronimo against military forces until his surrender in 1883. Two years later he and Geronimo left the reservation, trying one last time to live free, but both were captured and incarcerated. Naiche would later share a reservation with Kiowa and Comanche's, living in Oklahoma until 1913, when  he was finally allowed to return to New Mexico where he would live for the next eight years. He died in 1921.

137. (Navajo) Code Talkers
"I vote for the Navajo Code Talkers as a whole because they done so much for not only the Navajo and Native people, but for America and for the entire world. They were instrumental in winning the war in WWII and without them our lives may be completely different. I admire each of them and feel that they are best remembered as a whole, as one entity, because without each person working together for a common goal, they would not have been successful. Our country is what it is today because of the Navajo Code Talkers." + "I vote for all the Code Talkers. They were from many nations including Comanche, Sioux, Kiowa, Winnebago, Pueblo, Cherokee, Hopi and Seminole. They are the perfect example as to how much we have done for this country, our country, and that we are not against America but we are part of this country. And our accomplishments need to be celebrated. We are vital to our land and to our countrymen and the Code Talkers allowed us to be who this country is today. Where would we be without them?"

138. Wayne Newell (Pasamaquoddy) - Community Leader
Newell is nominated because he is "blind and responsible for the Pasamaquoddy curriculum and language instruction that now exists in Maine." Wayne Newell is part of a team of people who enhanced the curriculum in the two Pasamaquoddy schools with tribal language, music, art, stories, oral tradition, and other cultural content.

139. Wayne Newton (Powhatan/Cherokee) - Singer/Entertainer
Wayne Newton (Mr. Las Vegas) has performed 25,000+ concerts over the last 40 years in Las Vegas, putting in 40+ weeks a year at the Stardust resort. He learned to play the guitar, steel guitar and piano at age six, and has performed for President Harry S. Truman, lead American troop tours overseas, and even sang at the Grand Ole Opry. His biggest hit "Danke Schoen" was released in 1963, when the singer was 21.

140. Samson Occom (Mohegan) - Author/ Minister/ Lobbyist
He was born in 1721 in Mohegan, Connecticut, adopting and studying Christianity before he became a minister in 1749. Occom ministered to all who would listen, acted as a Missionary to many Native tribes, and also made an income as a schoolmaster, fisherman, cooper, farmer, and book binder. He was the leader of the Brothertown movement - a Christian Indian community.

141. Ohiyesa/Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman (Woodland Sioux) - Author/ Physician
His mother died shortly after his birth and he as raised traditionally by his grandmother until age 15. His father (who was one of the 300 men sentenced to death by hanging for the Sioux Uprising, but later partially pardoned and imprisoned for 12 years) wanted him to receive a white man's education. Ohiyesa received a medical degree and became highly literate, writing books and practicing medicine when he was able (he was constantly harassed because authorities could not believe an Indian was legally qualified to practice medicine).

142. Oihduze/Carrier Samin (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) - Tribal Leader
Though he always worked with the government, he dedicated his life to the best interest of his people. "He's a great chief because the whites tried to force him to sign treaties by putting his people in chains but he held his ground and refused to sign. He worked with the government because he had to, but he was loyal to his own first."

143. Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo) - Author/ Journalist/ Editor
He's a brilliant traditional storyteller and one of the most respected, awarded and widely read of Native American poets. Ortiz attended Fort Lewis College (1962-63), the University of New Mexico (1966-68), and the University of Iowa (1968-69). He taught at San Diego State, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Navajo Community College, the College of Marin, the University of New Mexico, and the Sinte Gleska College, plus served as lieutenant governor of the Pueblo of Acoma. Ortiz also acted as consulting editor of the Pueblo of Acoma Press.

144. Osceola (Seminole) - Tribal Leader
He fought in the Wars of 1812 and in 1818 against American troops under Andrew Jackson,  but is most known for leading his people against forced removal  from their Florida homelands. Imprisoned after throwing his dagger into a treaty and saying "This is the only treaty I will make with the whites!," he later pretended to agree to his tribe's move out west and was released, but instead lead his people deep into the Everglades and engaged in conflicts with US military. He was eventually arrested and imprisoned, dying in 1838 at the age of 34.

145. Ely Parker/Ha-sa-no-an-da (Seneca ) - Tribal Leader/ First Native American commissioner of Indian affairs
He was a Seneca chief, a US Brigadier-General, an engineer, a Civil War hero, a legal scholar, a secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant, and the first Native American Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He studied law even though New York State would not allow an Indian to have a law practice, and became a captain of engineers in the New York State Militia in 1853. Parker was often referred to as "Grant's Indian" and Grant was the best man at his wedding. Today he is remembered as a controversial figure, and to many, a hero.

146. Quanah Parker/ Potalesharo (Comanche) - Tribal Leader
His mother was Cynthia Ann Parker, the famous little white girl taken captive during an 1836 raid, living 24 years with the Comanches and never being able to readjust to white life once "recaptured." Quanah, the last Chief of the Comanches, supported education, ranching, and farming for his people. He never lost a battle to the white man, and his people were the last tribe in the Staked Plains to enter into the reservation system.

147. Leonard Peltier (Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota) - Activist/ Artist/ Prisoner of War
"I think Leonard Peltier should top the list for his unerring steadfastness in the face of oppression and what he has done for his people and young ones. What better example could they have?" Another person said of Peltier, "His activism and ongoing work rings true to this day."And anther..... "He has brought awareness to Native causes, and also kept that public's eyes wide open that a man can go to prison for a crime he didn't commit, and still be in prison after all these years. He is a symbol of the injustice, a martyr if you will, that is still ravaging our nation. Let's face it, people these days are committing murder and back out on the streets in 3 years!"

148. David Pendleton Oakerhater/ Making Medicine (Cheyenne) - Warrior/ Missionary
"I nominate David P. Oakerhater because he was a great warrior who fought for land rights and he eventually found religion and became involved in it and was a missionary. He founded schools and worked until he died in the 1930's"

149. Elizabeth Peratrovich (Tlingit) - Civil Rights Leader/ Founder of the first "Equal Rights" Bill
She was a Tlingit orphan adopted and educated by missionaries who would grow up to be a major civil rights leader in Alaska, and then for the entire country. When she was Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Peratrovich was shocked to see the racist "No Natives Allowed" signs that littered the state. She protested them, and the school tax - which Natives had to pay even though their children could not attend public schools - to the Governor, stating that Native people deserved the same rights as whites. She lobbied for an anti-discrimination law in 1943 but it did not pass. For two years she lobbied and testified, and it finally paid off in 1945 when the FIRST anti-discrimination law in the entire country was passed - a law that outlawed discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and rights in Alaska. Peratrovich continued her work in Alaskan Native Affairs until her death in 1958. In 1988 the Alaska Legislature established February 16 as "The Annual Elizabeth Peratrovich Day" - the anniversary of the signing of the Anti-Discrimination Act - and each year Alaskans pause to remember her and her work for all people no matter their race, creed, and ethnic background. Because of her work, each state would eventually adopt their own version of her "Equal Rights" Bill.

150. Lori Piestewa (Hopi) - War Hero who died in recent war efforts in Iraq
"She was the first woman killed (and was Native American) in the Iraq War. Have they forgotten the sacrifice this young woman, and mother made for her country???" Another respondent said of Pestewa, "she showed us in life and more so in death how the Red and White society have been so connected. She fought for a country in which she in many places would have not been accepted. She gave of herself as a person, in pride of her family ,her people and her nation within a Nation. She has left behind a legacy for all the Native American veterans, and opened the eyes of the world to the fact that Native people also fight to keep this country Free. She honors us and humbles us."

the Greatest Native American, Nominations, 151-200

151. Pocahontas (Powhatan) - Prominent Native Figure
"She was young but opened up great communication between settlers and Native people." Her name is one of the most recognized within the indigenous community,  but much of what is known about her is based more on myth than fact. Though she was accepted by English royalty herself, she was not a princess. Her father, Powhatan, was chief of the Powhatan Confederacy and her first claim to fame is when she "saved" the life of John Smith. She eventually married John Rolfe, had a son, traveled to Europe and died during her return home at age 21.

152. Pontiac (Ottawa) - Tribal Leader
He befriended the French, played an important role in the French defeat of the English in 1755 (during the opening battles of the French and Indian War), and helped to drive out the English and unify various indigenous nations. In 1765 Pontiac and 30 other chiefs signed a treaty of peace with then English. The French would later betray him and Pontiac's leadership would be doubted. He was murdered in 1769 and today a statue of him stands in the City Hall lobby in Pontiac, Michigan.

153. Popé (Tewa) - Spiritual Leader
He was a religious leader who organized and led the most successful Native uprising (1680) in the history of the American west with an army of more than 8,000, therefore driving the Spanish from New Mexico. He preached Spanish resistance, fought to restore traditional Pueblo culture and religion to his people, and ordered the destruction of Christian objects and churches. Some people said that he was harsh and too radical in his thinking, dissension arose and the Pueblo community would weaken. Pope' died in 1690.

154. Jerry Potts (Blackfeet/Piegan) - Guide/ Leader/ Advocate
"Jerry Potts worked with the North West Mounted Police for many years. He was strongly against the whiskey traders of that time. He did much to help his people and to strengthen to ties between the natives and the NWMP. He was a strong leader and advocate for his people!"

155. Tom Porter (Mohawk) - Tribal Leader/ Holy man/ Tribal Elder
"I nominate Tom Porter, a leader of his community and a spiritual leader from the Mohawk Community of Kanatsiohareke, New York. He was raised Akwesasne Mohawk, lived his life traditionally, and was part of the longhouse movement. He help found the White Roots of Peace group and he would speak to people all over the country about Native teachings and traditions. He helps bring the Mohawk language to kids and wants his people to be drug and alcohol free so he set up a center for that too. He's really into preserving and teaching his culture to others so they can pass it down to their children. He's a great man."

156. Powhatan/ Washunsonacock (Powhatan) - Tribal Leader/ Confederacy Leader
He consolidated more than 30 tribes into a confederacy and ruled those tribes in 8,000 square miles of Virginia country, with more than 8,000 people. He first befriended the English but soon realized that they could not be trusted; he then wanted them off his territory. Supposedly, the Powhatan captured captain John Smith and Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, saved his life. He died April 1618.

157. Elvis Presley (Cherokee) - Singer/ Entertainer
His great-great-great-grandmother, Morning White Dove, was full-blooded Cherokee and Elvis Presley was quite proud of his Native heritage - and many Cherokee's are quite proud of him - but Colonel Tom Parker advised him against identifying his Native heritage due to racial tensions of that time. Elvis won three Grammy Awards, has more multi-platinum sales than any other performer, had 18 #1 songs, sold over a billion albums worldwide (more than any other artist or group, including the Beatles), and the first ever musical video was Jailhouse Rock (1957).

158. Rain-in-the-Face (Hunkpapa Sioux) - Military Warrior
He was ten years old when he took part in the war with the Gros Ventres and was given his name after a rain-soaked battle left his face streaked with war paint. He fought against Custer and other US military forces until surrendering in 1880. Rain-in-the-face said, "I have lived peaceably ever since we came upon the reservation. No one can say that Rain-in-the-Face has broken the rules of the Great Father. I fought for my people and my country. When we were conquered I remained silent, as a warrior should. Rain-in-the-Face was killed when he put down his weapons before the Great Father. His spirit was gone then; only his poor body lived on, but now it is almost ready to lie down for the last time. Ho, hechetu! [It is well.]"


159. Red Cloud
(Oglala Sioux) - Tribal Leader
He is considered one of the deadliest enemies the US military ever faced, successfully leading what is now known as Red Cloud’s War from 1866-1868. After signing a treaty, he lived in peace with the whites, though he continued to fight against corrupt officials and encouraged others to continue fighting white occupation. He never participated in the Ghost Dance Movement and after losing his status as head chief in 1881, Red Cloud retired quietly to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

160. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. (Winnebago) - Military Hero
On November 5, 1950, Corporal Red Cloud Jr. (Company E., 19th Infantry Regiment in Korea) was guarding his company command post when surprised by Chinese forces. He sounded the alarm and fired his rifle, giving his company time to ready their forces. Though he was severely wounded, he refused assistance and continued to fight until killed. His heroic action prevented the enemy from overrunning his company's position, therefore gaining time for evacuation of the wounded. His family later recieved the Congressional Medal of Honor.

161. Red Jacket/Otetiani (Seneca) - Tribal Leader
His English name, Red Jacket, came from the British redcoat he wore in the American Revolution. He was an articulate, eloquent orator who spoke out against the introduction of white customs, Christianity, land sales, and the work of missionaries. Years later he attempted to make peace with the US government, was one of the only Native chiefs to visit President George Washington in 1792, and supported the United States in the War of 1812. Red Jacket would later become a principal spokesman for the Seneca people.

162. Dr Ben Reifel (Sioux) - Politician
He was born in a log cabin on the South Dakota Rosebud Reservation in 1906 and in 1933 began his long career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs that ended in 1960, when he would campaign for Congress. From 1961 to 1971 Reifel served five terms as a U.S. Congressional Representative, the first Sioux to do so. He died in 1990.

163. Branscombe Richmond (Aleut) - Actor/ Musician
His movies include DaVinci’s War, Hard to Kill and the up-coming Iron Horseman. Richmond was a 2003 Inductee at the National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in Anamosa Iowa and has also been awarded USA's Native American Entertainer of the Year, Mr Showman of the Year (Las Vegas Review Journal), and CMA People's Choice Award (Humanitarian of the Year). He also plays with his band, Branscombe Richmond and the Renegade Posse band.

164. Louis Riel (Metis) - Tribal leader/ Civil rights Activist
Louis Riel remains one of the most controversial, elusive, revolutionary, outspoken, mysterious and complicated figures in Canadian history. He was seven-eighths white ancestry, but always described and defined himself as Metis (a person of mixed European and indigenous ancestry). Elected to the House of Commons, Riel would later be exiled from Canada in 1874, declared an outlaw in 1875, and in 1884 lead two rebellions before being captured and hanged in 1885. Today his execution is considered unjust and Riel is regarded as a major figure in Canadian’s fight for political and economic rights. 

165. Lillie Roberts (Choctaw) - Educator
"The person I am nominating is Lillie Roberts or Ms. Lili to her students. The reason that I am nominating Ms. Lili is her
dedication to preserving our beloved Choctaw language. As she has continually increased the amount of language speakers. Thus keeping the language from becoming all but a memory. There is no replacement for what she has given of herself in service - no other way this could have happened other than a Native Speaker of Choctaw to step forward with dedication and show the rest of us the way. She has reached out to welcome every single Choctaw everywhere in the world Home, through language. ...Ms. Lili is doing a fantastic job of keeping the Choctaw Language alive and paving the way to keep the language alive for generations to come."

166. Robbie Robertson (Mohawk) - Musician/ Songwriter/ Producer/ Actor
Robertson is best known for his membership (guitarist/ songwriter) in The Band, whose critically acclaimed music influenced the direction of rock music. The Band once played backup in a Bob Dylan tour, was the first North American rock group to appear on the cover of Time magazine, performed a record-setting four songs on Saturday Night Live, and appeared before 650,000 people at the largest rock concert in history. Robertson produced for Neil Diamond, wrote Rod Stewart’s "Broken Arrow," composed for films such as Raging Bull, The Color of Money, and Casino, has acted in Carny with Jodie Foster and Gary Busey, won Album of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards, and was inducted into Juno’s Hall of Fame. He and The Band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Robertson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters in 1997. He later returned to his indigenous roots to record Contact From the Underworld of Redboy and Music For The Native Americans. His life was documented on PBS and VH1, and the won the first-ever Grammy® for Native American Album of the Year.

167. Will Rogers (Cherokee) - Humorist/ Writer/ Entertainer/ Actor... A.K.A.: The Cherokee Kid
He was an Oklahoma Indian, a cowboy, an entertainer, a movie star, a comedian, a satirist, and the toast of Broadway. Born in Indian Territory, Rogers was taught to lasso by a freed slave, a skill that later had him listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing three lassos at once. He stared in 71 movies, wrote more than 4,000 columns, traveled the globe three times, and he was a guest at the White House. He died in a tragic plane crash in 1935. "Will Rogers is my nomination because during the depression he made people laugh and forget their hardships. His movies, writings and lectures were brilliantly funny and he was proud of his Cherokee heritage and he made my parents proud of their’s."

168. Roman Nose/ Woo-ka-nay (Cheyenne) - Warrior
He is revered as one of the most courageous warriors of the Great Plains, and of the Plains Indian wars of the 1860's. He wore a magnificat headdress in battle, made with one buffalo horn and a long tail of red and black eagle feathers, and believed it to have protective powers that required an elaborate ceremony prior to wearing it. Roman Nose became famous to the US Army, so famous in fact that at one time, the Army would assume most, if not all, Cheyenne male warriors they encountered were Roman Nose.

169. John Ross/ Kooweskoowe (Cherokee) - Tribal Chief
He was born in 1790 to Scottish and Cherokee parents. An educated man who served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, he was elected principal chief of the Eastern Cherokee in 1828 - during the saddest era in Cherokee history. He struggled to retain his people’s ancestral lands, but unable to do so, especially after the questionable 1835 treaty. In 1838-39 he led his people on the long, harsh and tragic military march to present-day Oklahoma. Thousands died on what is now known as "The Trail of Tears." Ross continued his position of chief until his death in 1839.

170. Sacajawea (Shoshone) - Interpreter/ Guide
She is one of the most well-known Native Americans of all time, though most stories about her are a mix of myth and fact. She wasn’t an official member of the expedition party, but her husband was and he brought his helpful 16-year-old pregnant wife with him to aide as guide and interpreter  (especially when they reached the upper Missouri River and the mountains from which she had come from). She and her husband would later spend nearly 5 years in St. Louis with Clark, and some records say she died in 1812 while others say 1884.

171. Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree) - Singer/ Songwriter/ Artist/ Educator/ Activist
She’s a folk singer, an Oscar Winner (for writing Up Where You Belong, 1982), a former Sesame Street regular, an activist, art teacher, artist, and actor. Add that to a politically blacklisted performer and the co-founder of Canada’s 'Music of Aboriginal Canada' JUNO category. Sainte-Marie has received numerous medals and awards from all over the world and her Cradleboard Teaching Project aids children from all backgrounds to learn about Native history, culture and people. "Not only for her music but because of her Cradleboard teaching site that is set up to teach the educators true Native history, how to promote understanding between the races and for the effort done on the site to promote pride in the native children who of course are our future." and "At 18, in 1970 she taught me about native activism. I was drawn to her romantic folk ballads and equally moved emotionally by her native story songs."

172. Samoset (Abenaki) - Tribal Leader
Most children today are familiar with Samoset because he was the friendly Native Abenaki who welcomed the English to Massachusetts in 1621. Samoset was also the first chief to negotiate treaties and land sales with the foreigners. He lived in peace with the English and it is believed that he died around 1653.

173. Will Sampson (Muscogee Creek) - Actor/ Painter / Bull Rider
He played an American Indian in films and television at a time when Indians didn’t play Indians. At 6 foot 7, Sampson insisted on playing Native people as real people, and not as some stereotyped caricatures of who or what his people should be. His first big acting break was with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and films such as Poltergeist II, Standing Tall, From Here to Eternity, Firewalker, and The Outlaw Josey Wales would follow. He founded the American Indian Registry for the Performing Arts, often spoke to schools and prisons about Native America, and his artwork was exhibited all over the country. Sampson died in 1987.

174. Santana (Kiowa) - Tribal Leader
In 1865 Santana participated, along with 3 men, in the negotiations that lead to the treaty of the Little Arkansas River. Afterwards, the Kiowa were unhappy with their small, pathetic reservation, which caused them to resist, raid and fight back against the whites. The raids Santana led gained him recognition within his tribe, and they asked him to be one of the tribe’s representatives at the Medicine Lodge Treaty council, but the public was outraged over the raids and demanded the Kiowa's punishment. Some Kiowa's were imprisioned, some hanged, and others were transferred to reservations. Santana was imprisoned for several years, where he committed suicide by jumping out a window.

175. Doris Seale (Santee/ Cree) - Educator/ Author
She writes extensively on the issues of identifying negative, stereotypical and harmful Native American children’s books. She works to educate teachers, librarians and parents on how to choose the right Native-themed books. Seale co-founded Oyate, an organization devoted to dispelling indigenous stereotypes in textbooks, literature, and other media, and in 1991 co-authored Through Indian Eyes.

176. Sealth/ Seattle (Suquamish) - Tribal Leader/ Chief of the Duwamish Confederacy
He was chief of his tribe and of the alliance of tribes in his area. Known and respected for his courageous leadership, friendly relations with whites, eloquent speech and conversion to Roman Catholicism, Chief Seattle is known today as one of the greatest leaders of all times. When faced with the incursion of white settlers, he chose peace over war, signing a treaty ceding most of his people’s land to settlers and moving his people north. His speech, given at the time of the treaty, is often quoted, though the translations vary and some words may have been embellished.

177. Dean Seneca - Community Leader
As the Director of the ATSDR Office of Tribal Affairs, Seneca serves as the ATSDR focal point for the environmental health issues that pertain to American Indian/ Alaska Native governments and organizations.

178. Sequoyah (Cherokee) - Linguist
Sequoyah is the "greatest American of all time. No one else invented an entire alphabet from scratch in the history of humanity and that should automatically get him to the top of the list. Also, he is one of the few historical Native Americans that was known for his mind and not military prowess. " and " I add Sequoia ,for his teaching words ,for fighting the odds within his own people in a time far tougher then now. Even though he wasn't the only Cherokee to attempt to make the talking words, he was the one who stood his ground and accomplished it. He suffered through criticism of his family, friends and nation ,laughed at ,yet he fulfilled his dream to have a language written for his people to talk among their selves, which also lead them to a greater independence."

179. Shawnee Prophet/ Tenskwatawa (Shawnee) - Political and Religious Leader
He was the brother of Tecumseh and was involved in the ideology and formation of the Native confederacy his brother fought so hard for. He announced himself a prophet, calling for the renunciation of white ways and a return to traditional Native life, and was able to gain tribal support after foretelling the 1806 solar eclipse. He later accompanied his people to Missouri and then to Kansas, where he died.


180. Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo) - Poet/ Novelist
She received national attention for her first book of poems, Laguna Woman (1974), drawing heavily on her Laguna Pueblo culture, and then for her 1977 novel, Ceremony. Often hailed as the first American Indian woman novelist, her 1989 book Storyteller combined memoirs with fiction, photographs and poetry depicting her family history. She was the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship.


181. Jay Silverheels (Mohawk) - Actor / First Native American given a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Best known for his many appearances as the Lone Ranger's side-kick Tonto, Jay Silverheels starred in other films such as: Broken Arrow, War Arrow, Walk the Proud Land, Indian Paint, and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold. He was also the first Native person given a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. "Jay was the first person I can remember being on tv that looked like me." and "He was, (with the Lone Ranger), our role model, our first example of what an Indian was and what we too could be: brave, loyal, strong, dignified, never angry, didn't smoke, swear or drink. He was an equal to the Lone Ranger in our eyes and it took both working together to upheld truth and justice and service to people in trouble."

182. Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota ) - Tribal Leader
"This inspirational leader was murdered deep within Lakota Nation territory, a vast area encompassing much of the central and northern Great Plains. Tatanka Iyotaka in his day was one of the most influential> leaders on the prairie. Today, he is the most recognizable Indian in the world Tatanka Iyotaka was not impressed by white society and their version of civilization. He was shocked and saddened to see the number of homeless people living on the streets of American cities. He gave money to hungry white people many times when he was in the large cities. He counseled his people to be wary of what they accept from white culture. He saw some things which might benefit his people; but cautioned Indian people to accept only those things that were useful to us, and to leave everything else alone. Tatanka Iyotaka was a man of clear vision and pure motivation. As is often the case with extraordinary people, Tatanka Iyotaka was murdered by his own people."

183. Smohalla (Wanapun) - Tribal Leader/ Prophet
He preached a religion - called Dreamers - based on a vision of returning to traditional modes of living, and advocated passive resistance and to love and tend to the earth. Smohalla died in 1895, but his ideology continues to live on. In the 1960's, white conservationists found meaning in his Washani Creed and used it to lobby for laws to control of hunting and fishing, and Native people cited the same Creed as a justification for their opposition to such laws.

184. Louis Sockalexis (Penobscot) - Major League Baseball's first Native American baseball player
Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian from Maine, was one of the greatest college baseball stars of the 1890s and the very first major league Native American baseball player - playing for the then-known Cleveland Spiders. He broke racial barriers while enduring racism and ridicule from fans and sportswriters alike. Sockalexis died in 1913 at age 42. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio held a contest to rename the Cleveland Spiders and two years after Sockalexis’s death, they named the team the controversial name of Cleveland Indians.

185 Spotted Tail (Brule Sioux) - Tribal Chief
Spotted Tail was an orphan raised by his grandparents, which is something that gave him a disadvantage compared to other males his age. This challenged him to work harder than others to establish his place within his community. While trading with whit
es,  Spotted Tail would study their habits, economy, and beliefs, later concluding that whites should not have so much freedom in Indian land and should not be trusted. He was proven right when overbearing settlers violated treaties and clashed with the Sioux. Spotted Tail would eventually be made chief of his people and reconcile with the whites.

186. Squanto (Wampanoag) - Translator/ Guide
Squanto was an interpreter, guide and consultant for the Pilgrims in the early New World years of the Plymouth Colony. Kidnapped by the English in 1614,
Squanto was taken to Spain and later returned to the America’s. He assisted the Pilgrims through their first year, helping them plant food, living with them and giving his much-needed guidance. Today his life is more folklore than fact, and most children learn in elementary school of his efforts to save the Pilgrims from starvation and death.

187. Standing Bear (Ponca) - Tribal Leader/ Civil rights activist
" Standing Bear is a hero. He is my hero. He only wanted to take his son back to their homeland for burial, as he promised him. He wasn’t out to fight or to cause havoc. He was a caring father who’s plight was so horrible and heart-felt that he touched a nation and reporters and even some military soldiers wanted him to finished his journey. He fought for civil rights in the US court and won the first right for an indigenous people to be called a human under the laws of the country. He won his civil rights and did so because he was a good and loving man and father. He only wanted the right to travel off his reservation and be a free man. He was the first Native American civil rights leader and the first citizen. He toured the country and advocated Native American freedom, which everyone else had. He was a powerful celebrity and figure in Native American rights. He was amazing, and he should be at the top of your list."

188. Wes Studi (Cherokee) - Actor/ Activist / Author
Wes Studi is a full-blooded Cherokee who only spoke Cherokee until he went to school. After serving in Vietnam, he returned to Oklahoma to work as a
reporter, and then became involved with the American Indian Movement (AIM) and was even present at Wounded Knee in 1973. Studi was bit by the acting bug and is now known for his roles in movies such as: Dances with Wolves, Mystery Men, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Skinwalkers, The New World, and A Thief in Time. "I love Wes Studi. He's handsome and a great role model for young kids everywhere."

189. Sweet Medicine of the Cheyenne
"My nomination for the Greatest Native American is Sweet Medicine of the Cheyenne. Born of a virgin, Sweet Medicine was raised by an elder woman, nursed by other women of the Cheyenne and grew to be the Cheyenne "prophet". From his quest into the sacred Bear Butte, he emerged with the sacred arrow bundle, laws by which the people should live, warrior societies, respect for women. He lived to be an old man, but knew that he was not immortal.  Only the mountains and stones live forever.  At his time for passing, they built a hut for him at Bear Butte out of willows and cedar logs, the floor covered in fragrant grasses and medicines. Then he spoke to the people for the last time....  Then Sweet Medicine went into his hut to die."

190. Maria Tallchief (Osage) - Ballerina
She studied ballet and music at age four, and by eight her family had to relocate to California so she could train with noted ballet specialists. Tallchief was one of the world’s legendary performers, before her 23rd birthday!,  and has been called "Americans Prima Ballerina." Best known for her time with the New York City Ballet, she may be the most famous American ballerina of all times. In 1953 President Dwight Eisenhower declared her "Woman of the Year." She retired from dance in 1965.

191. Marjorie Tallchief (Osage) - Ballerina
She was 21 months younger than her sister, Maria, but Marjorie was a brilliant dancer in her own right. She was the first American to join the Paris Opera
Ballet as "Premiere danseuse etoile" and with her sister, founded the Chicago City Ballet in 1981. "Marjorie does not receive the recognition she deserves.
Yes, Maria was wonderful and made great strides in race relations and understanding in this country, but so did his sister Marjorie."

192. Tamahay (Sioux) - Warrior
History books often refer to Tamahay as the "one-eyed Sioux" for obvious reasons (he had one eye). He was high spirited, reckless, fast and strong, and declared openly that he would die young but not by his own hands. Tamahay was a notable man of the early 19th century frontier, fighting for the Americans in the War of 1812 when most Native’s were siding with the British.

193. Tecumseh (Shawnee) - Tribal Leader/ Warrior/ Advocate for tribal confederacy
Tecumseh is and was one of the most influential Indian leaders of all time, spending most of his career campaigning for Indian confederacy, uniting against the
encroachment of the whites and becoming one nation to protect their culture, ancestral land and borders. Born in 1768 near what is now Springfield, Ohio, he took part in the war of retaliation in 1780 - a war that originated with the murder of Chief Cornstalk who was attempting to negotiate with white men.
Tecumseh was a brave warrior, a skilled fighter, and known for his opposition to unnecessary killing. He participated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers and
refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. Along with his brother, The Prophet, Tecumseh traveled among the tribes of the region and beyond to set
forth a doctrine that unified Natives of Northwestern Territory into one Indian Confederacy Nation. Also with his brother they established Prophetstown in today's Indiana, but after it was destroyed by the U.S. Army in 1811, enthusiasm for the confederacy diminished. Tecumseh allied with the British (they made him a brigadier general) in the War of 1812. He also took a stand at the Battle of the Thames (1813) where he lost his life. "Tecumseh IS the GREATEST indigenous person who ever walked the planet! He tried to unite our ancestors and if he would have succeeded, we might just own our country today. He had vision and moral strength and he needs to be at the very top of any Greatest leader list."

194. Catherine/Kateri Tekakwitha (Mohawk) - Religious figure
Tekakwitha is the first Native American to convert to Roman Catholic Christianity and to be venerated by the church. She was born in 1656 and died just 24
years later. Kateri was declared venerable by Pope Pius XII in 1943 and beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.

195. Charlene Teters (Spokane) - Artist/ Writer/ Activist/ Teacher
Charlene Teters is a national figure in the anti-mascot movement which, for her, began in 1988 when she spoke out against the University of Illinois macsot which she considered  degrading, offensive, and a stereotypical image of Native Americans. Besides speaking up, Teters created political art, and
campaigned against these racist symbols. Soon a national leader in the movement, her story was the subject of the award wining documentary "In Whose Honor?". Today Charlene continues her activism work and has exhibited her artwork internationally. "For me, no one says Great Native American Woman like Charlene. She's the face and voice of the mascot movement and I appreciate all her hard work, dedication, energy, and vision."

196. Jim Thorpe (Sauk and Fox) - Olympic champion/ Athlete/ "Greatest American Football Player in History"
Jim Thope was a three-time all-American football player, a professional minor and major league baseball player, and the winner of both a pentathlon and a
decathlon in the World Olympics. Adept in every sport he attempted (swimming, running, wrestling, lacrosse, tennis, golf, etc.) the New York Times named him "the world’s greatest all-around athlete" in 1912 (when he was 25 years old!). His mother, a descendant of Black Hawk, was convinced that Thorpe was the living reincarnation of the great chief, who was himself an outstanding athlete as well. Thorpe participated in the Olympics, the baseball World Series,  played professional football, and was instrumental in forming the American Professional Football Association (now the NFL). He organized, coached and played in the only all-Indian professional football team, the Orrang Indians, from Canton, Ohio and Thorpe's life story was made into the 1949 movie, "Jim Thorpe - All American," starring Burt Lancaster. The following year the Associated Press named him the "greatest overall male athlete" for the first half of the century, and "the greatest American football player." After his death in 1953, the National Football League renamed its "Most Valuable Player" award the "Jim Thorpe Trophy" and he's been named to the professional football, track and field, and college football hall of fame. In 1977 Sport magazine conducted a national poll and announced Jim Thorpe as the "Greatest American Football Player in History." Today many Americans consider Jim Thorpe as the greatest American athlete of all time and in 1999, Congress designated Jim Thorpe the  "Athlete of the Century".

197. John Trudell (Santee Sioux) - Activist/ Musician/ Actor
Trudell is one of the most recognizable figures of indigenous activism and the American Indian Movement (acting as their spokesperson). He took part in the
1972 Trail of Broken Treaties, the takeover of the BIA headquarters, and the second Wounded Knee. He also lobbied for Leonard Peltier, released an album
and acted in Smoke Signals and Thunderheart. "John is an excellent leader with an excellent heart. He helped the Red Power movement and because of him and people like him, we made several advances forward."

198. Two Strike/ Nomkahpa (Brule Sioux) - Tribal Leader
He was intelligent, somber, and held a high sense of duty to his people. Two Strikes accompanied his first war party at age 12 and by the time he was 31,
he was leading his own war parties. After his sixth coup he was declared chief and eventually ascended to the position of head chief of the Brule Sioux.

199. Uncas (Mohegan) - Warrior
"I nominate Uncas because though he warred against neighboring tribes and fought on the side of the English in the King Philip’s War, which some see as him being a trader, he was also a sachem who loved his people and just wanted peace."

200. Victorio (Mimbreno Apache) - Tribal Leader
He was not out to make friends with white settlers or government representatives; for the most part, Victorio, kept a distance from the outsiders. His followers loved him and he treated his people kindly. He was the last hereditary chief whose D’ne band roved freely in their ancestral homelands (Texas/ New Mexico. Arizona). "Victorio deserves recognition and praise for his leadership and tight hold on his cultural traditions."

the Greatest Native American, Nominations, 201-211

201. Wamsutta (Wampanoag) - Tribal Chief
He was the eldest son of Massasoit and given the English name Alexander. Wamsutta succeeded his father in 1661 and tried to maintain his father’s alliance
with the colonists, but the English were growing in number and attitude; conflicts continued to grow between them. He died after a meeting with the
colonists... some say he was poisoned. His brother Metacom succeeded him. "I nominate Wamsutta because he tried to do what should have been done, and that is to keep the invaders out of Turtle Island. He fought hard and against a great deal of people who thought he was the devil. His bravery should be celebrated in place of this nations horrid Thanksgiving holiday."

202. Nancy Ward/ Nan’yeh (Cherokee) - Warrior/ Tribal Leader / Beloved Woman
The role of Beloved Woman in Cherokee tradition is an influential one, and the most noted Beloved Woman is Nancy Ward, born around 1738. She served her people during a difficult time for the Cherokee, and was against land cessions. An ambassador for peace, she was also a shrewd diplomat who is often remembered as a feminist symbol for Cherokee women, and an inspiration for all people in Indian country.

203. Washakie (Shoshoni) - Tribal Leader
Washakie was an ally of white immigrants, traders, trappers, and the U.S. government. The Shoshonis were instrumental in assisting whites in settling the
western part of the United States, and even joined them in battles against the Sioux, Blackfeet and Crows (their traditional enemies). This peaceful relationship kept the Eastern Shoshoni from experiencing some of the tragic ordeals and effects of Native removal into Indian Territory.

204. Woogie Watchetaker (Comanche) - Community Leader
George Woggie Watchetaker Smith lived in the modern white world while hodling tight to traditional Comanche ways. He was a beloved man who did raindances in the early 1970's during the devastating drought that strickened the south, and his brother, Charles Chibitty, was the last remaining Comanche Code Talkers of WWII. 

205. William Weatherford/ Red Eagle (Upper Creek) - Military and Tribal Leader
Red Eagle was part of the "Red Sticks" Upper Creek group - warriors who opposed the U.S. in the Creek War of 1813-1814. Stirred by Tecumseh’s ideology of tribal unity and American resistance, Red Eagle participated in a massacre of whites that left 250 - 500 dead. When his people were defeated by General Andrew Jackson at Horseshoe Bend (1814), his fellow chiefs were ordered to bring him in for punishment. Red Eagle did not want the chiefs to go through such humiliation, so he rode into Jackson’s camp alone and boldly surrendered, saying that he did not fear Jackson near any other man because he was a Creek warrior. He was allowed to live in peace, on a farm, until his death in 1824.

206. Everrett "Tall Oak" Weeden (Mashantucket/ Pequot/ Wampanoag) - Artist/ Activist/ Native Historian
Tall Oak is an educational consultant who's been actively lecturing and performing for years at various educational institutions about Native culture and rights. He’s one of the founders of the National Day of Mourning, and has acted as a consultant for Boston Children’s Hospital, Brown University, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

207. Bernie Whitebear (Nez Perce) - Activist/ Community Leader/ Green Beret
He founded the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation after he and other Natives invaded 20 acres of government land that originally belonged to the indigenous. They occupied the property and declared their right to possess it and to turn it into a cultural center for Native people. They won this right and today the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation occupies the 20 acres. Whitebear was a kind, gentle soul who cared about the Nez Perce and all Native people, and dedicated his life to their activism and advocacy, including the creation of the Indian Health Board in Seattle, Washington.

208. Wicked Chief/ Sharitarish (Grand Pawnee) - Tribal Leader
Sharitarish was the chief of the Grand Pawnee tribe. He was descended from a long line of chiefs which, according to tribal law, was how they selected the next chief. Sharitarish died when he was just 30 years old.

209. Wolf Robe (Southern Cheyenne) - Tribal Leader
During the 1870s, Wolf Robe's (chief of the southern Cheyenne) and his people were forced to leave the Plains and "relocate" to an Oklahoma reservation; so his reign was at a time of extreme turmoil. It is said that Wolf Robe's profile was used on the "Indian Head Nickle." He died about 1910.

210. Wovoka/ Jack Wilson (Northern Paiute) - Spiritual Leader
Wovoka, a messiah to his followers, is often called the Father of the Ghost Dance, a mystic religion and ideaogy that spread among a number of tribes (during a time when they needed it most). During his early 30s, Wovoka wove together a belief system that would eventually become the Ghost Dance Religion. (Also incorporated into the Ghost Dance Religion were prophicies from another Northern Paiute, Tavibo, who predicted that whites would some day be swallowed by the earth and the Indian dead would rise again. Some have said that Tavibo was Wovoko’s birth father who died when Wovoka was young.)  Wovoka told his followers to dance and sing songs to bring forth the prophecy. In the 1880's Wovoko made similar prophecies pertaining to whites vanishing, leaving a land rich in food, a renewal of Native spirituality and immortality. This belief spread to the disheartened Natives, and soon various tribes throughout the west were adopting their own interpretations of the Ghost Dance. Followers were dancing, singing and making Ghost Shirts that were supposed to be bullet-proof. Wovoka lost his notoriety after Wounded Knee in 1890, but went on to live a quiet life as Jack Wilson until his death in 1932.

211. Evelyn Yellow Robe (Rosebud Dakota Sioux) - First Native American to win a Fulbright scholarship
"I nominate Dr. Yellow Robe because she is a doctor who carved a path for other Native kids, especially girls, to pursue their dreams and make their lives
what they want it to be. She’s the first Native American to win a Fulbright Scholarship, plus she was given the French Government Award for Excellence in
the 40's plus the Indian Achievement Medal by the Indian Council Fire. She’s a great role model and have done much for her people."

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