Sarah Winnemucca - Notable Native Americans
Sarah Winnemucca was a Northern Paiute author, lecturer, educator and interpreter. Born into a tumultuous time for her people, her mother and several relatives were killed by the US cavalry in 1865. Her family adapted to the rapid changes occurring in the West by working as guides, performing in plays, and working in the cattle industry, among other ventures. Sarah also worked as an interpreter at Fort McDermitt for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, when on speaking tours to speak about injustices happening to her people. She also served US forces as a messenger, guide, and as a teacher for imprisoned Native Americans. Her book Life Among the Piutes (1883) is believed to be the first known autobiography written by a Native American woman. Her book is often cited by scholars and historians, and used in classrooms. Following the publishing of her book, she toured the eastern United States (delivering nearly 300 lectures throughout major cities of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic), and subsequently founded a private school for Native American children in Lovelock, Nevada. In 1993, she was inducted posthumously into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. In 2005, the state of Nevada contributed a statue of her to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol. In 1994, Winnemucca was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.