“Lakota Woman” Mary Brave Bird laid to rest

shared from http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/lakota-woman-mary-brave-bird-to-be-laid-to-rest-today.html

 

HE DOG, SOUTH DAKOTA – Mary Ellen Brave Bird-Richard, known to millions simply as "Lakota Woman," walked on last week Thursday on February 14 in Crystal Lake, Nevada of natural causes. She was 58.

Lakota Woman, Mary Ellen Brave Bird RichardMary Ellen Brave Bird-Richard 1954-2013

She will be laid to rest today at the Clear Water Cemetery at Grass Mountain on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Born poor on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, she became an American Indian activist, writer, and lecturer who inspired many during her lifetime.

She was also known as Mary Crow Dog because she was married for Leonard Crow Dog for several years. As members of the American Indian Movement, both participated in the Trail of Broken Treaties which culminated in the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC in November 1972 and occupation of the hamlet of Wounded Knee in late February of 1973.

She became known as Lakota Woman because her 1990 memoir with the same name won an American Book Award and was adapted as a television movie in 1994. In the made for television movie, "Lakota Woman- Siege at Wounded Knee," Mary Crow Dog was played by Irene Bedard, Inupiat Eskimo. Bedard was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best actress for her portrayal of Lakota Woman.

“I was saddened to hear she walked on. I could not believe it at first. I first heard about her when I was a university student and I read the book,”

Bedard told the Native News Network Friday afternoon.

“It changed my perception, it helped my heart heal, it gave me a voice, and it inspired me to speak. I heard her voice – Lakota Woman. I sent it to my mother. I wanted to turn it into a play, a one woman show. Mary Crow Dog meant so much to me. Little did I know that one day I would meet her, and hear her voice in person and portray her struggles and triumphs in a movie produced by the legendary Jane Fonda.”

"Lakota Woman" is a book that recounts her life growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and her involvement in the American Indian Movement.

During the occupation of Wounded Knee on April 11, 1973, she gave birth to her first child Pedro.

“She was in inspiration for a lot of young women who admired her for being at Wounded Knee and staying there to have her baby,”

reflected Dennis Banks, Ojibwe, co-founder of the American Indian Movement to the Native News Network on Friday night.

“It was a moment that life came into the world right there at Wounded Knee. It was the first and only birth while we were there. When it happened, we cheered and cheered …it gave us the courage to go to the end.”

Banks is on the Rosebud Indian Reservation to attend the ceremonies in her honor today.

Besides "Lakota Woman," Brave Bird – Richards wrote "Ohitika Woman" in 1993. The first memoir "Lakota Woman" gives account of her life through 1977. "Ohitika Woman" provided an account of her life after 1977. Both books were edited by Richard Erodes.

Among survivors are four sons: Robert He Crow and Francisco "Rudy" Olguin of Crystal Lake, Nevada; Henry Crow Dog of Grass Mountain, South Dakota and Leonard Crow Dog, Jr. of Oakland, California. She also is survived by her two daughters: Jennifer Crow Dog and Summer Rose Olguin of He Dog, South Dakota. Her mother, Emily Smith of He Dog. Two brothers: Robert Joe Moore and Michael Smith of He Dog; two sisters: Kathleen Moore of He Dog and Barbara Moore of Tucson, Arizona.

posted February 23, 2013 7:30 am est

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