Ada Deer is one of the most prominent Native political activists of our time. She was an outspoken opponent of tribal termination in the 1970’s and continues through the present day in her work as a scholar and an advocate for Native rights. From 1993-1997, she was the first Native woman to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior.
Billy Frank Jr.
Billy Frank, Jr.’s life and career took place during a time of great social justice unrest and cultural revolution in the USA. The turbulent 1960’s and the cultural shifts that occurred during that time were reflected in Billy Frank, Jr.’s ultimate social, cultural and legal success. His leadership in his community’s efforts to assert their treaty rights were pivotal in the overall Red Power movement of the era, and his achievements are legendary.
Elizabeth Peratrovich was a civil rights activist in Alaska. In the 1940’s, she was credited with advocacy that gained the passage of the 1945 Alaska territory Anti-Discrimination Act. The Act was the first anti-discrimination law in the United States, signed well before the federal Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 and 14 years before Alaska became the 49th state.