- Karen Edmond
First Nation Activist Mrs. Debra White Plume Passed Away on Nov 10, 2020.
First Nation Warrior and activist Debra White Plume was a direct descendant of the Oglala Lakota located in South Dakota. White Plume led various protests against treaty violations, land infringement, water rights, and was an active advocate and volunteer of the Wounded Knee uprising in the 70's. Per a Democracy Now interview with Mrs. White Plume, the host asked, "why did they up rise during the 70s?" Wherewith Mrs. White Plume responded because "at the time everybody was fed up." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikNKhht0pt0 (Mrs. White Plum pictured with her son and activist Alex White Plume November 28, 2015.)
In an interview with Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, Mrs. White Plume shared how the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s gave strength to 1st Nation people on the reservation to take a stand despite the odds against them historically. The Civil Rights Movement resonated with their people who suffered liked atrocities that Black citizenship did. The historic uprising took place at "Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Feb 1973. (Pictured below female 1st Nation watch woman)https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/timeline/535.html
Wounded Knee is a unique site because of its correlation to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized by President Andrew Jackson (the guy on the $20 bill whose image will be replaced by Harriet Tubman shortly.) The Indian Removal Act executes one of the many attempts to relocate and enforce a type of genocide focused on East Coast, 1st Nation tribes of North America. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/us/debra-white-dead.html
Colonist feared the collaboration of 1st Nation Tribes and Africans being that populations where building communications and families whether in slavery or not. Much like the Seminoles in Florida that lead to numerous uprisings with much success in achieving their goals at the time.
(Pictured below sacred ghost dance in response to massacre at Wounded Knee)
Mrs. Deborah White Plume's legacy will continue to shine on and be an example of doing the right thing even when the world's against you just because of your 1st Nation. Mrs. White Plume passed at only 66 years old.
A famous quote from Mrs. Debra White Plume: "I'm Lakota, I'm a woman, and water is the domain of the women in our nation," she said in working to protect it."
Thank you for reading! Happy 1st Nation Month.
Reading Material "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.