Ada E. Deer Facts

P>Long life proposal for social justice, Ada E. Deer was the first woman to head the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). As assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at the Interior Department, she was “turning the BIA upside down and shaking it,” as she told hundreds of Navajos in Arizona a month after taking office in late July 1993. For Deer, an Indian rights activist, young American women, turning things upside down was nothing new. Her career as a social worker, a leader in numerous community and political organizations, and her successful struggle to

restore federal recognition to the Menominee Tribe, all attest to their actions on behalf of human rights and their belief in coalition building. She told the members of the Alaskan Native Federation in August 1993, as quoted in the Tundra Times, “I want to emphasize (that) my administration will be based on the Indian values of care, sharing and respect. … These values have long been missing in the halls of government”

Fights for the Recognition of the Menominee Tribe

Turn the BIA around

Additional reading on Ada E. Deer

Biographical Dictionary of Indians of the Americas, Volume 1, Newport Beach, California, American Indian Publishers, 1991; 181-182.

edited by Jane B. Katz, New York, Dutton, 1977.//p>

Interior Department: “http: // ,” 18 July 1997.

Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland, 1993; 128-134.

Native American Women, edited by Gretchen M. Bataille, New York, Garland Publishing, 1993; 76-78.

Native North American Almanac, edited by Duane Champagne, Detro it, Gale Research, 1994; 1041.

Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1982.

Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian, sixth edition, edited by Barry T. Klein, West Nyack, New York, Todd Publications, 1993; 504-505.

Cohen, Karen J., “Ada Deer Attempts to Start Fire Under Bureaucracy”, Wisconsin State Journal, March 20, 1994; B1.

“Female BIA Chief ‘Shaking Agency Up,” Denver Post, September 2, 1993; B2.

Tundra Times,Spain> September 8, 1993; 1.


Ada Deer’s Appointment: Hearing before the Committee on Indigenous Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, First Session, on Ada Deer’s Appointment as Assistant Secretary for Indigenous Affairs, July 15, 1993, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1993.