Carlos Montezuma - Wassaja - Notable Native Americans
Carlos Montezuma - Wassaja was a Yavapai-Apache, activist and a founding member of the Society of American Indians. As a child he was kidnapped by Akimel O'odham (Pima) raiders, and was then "purchased" by an Italian photographer , Carlo Gentile. Wassaja accompanied his adoptive father in his pioneering photographic and ethnographic expeditions in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. For a few months in 1872–73 they even joined the theatrical troupe of Ned Buntline and Buffalo Bill .
Montezuma was the first Native American student at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, and only the second Native American ever to earn a medical degree in an American University after Susan La Flesche Picotte. In 1889 he became the first Native American man to earn a medical degree. Montezuma traveled to multiple reservations and provided services to Native Americans. He helped his people establish the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Reservation, as well as In 1904, Dr. Montezuma founded the Indian Fellowship League, the first urban Indian organization in the U.S. He became an outspoken opponent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In addition, he helped found the Society of American Indians in 1911, the first Indian rights organization created by and for Indians. In 1916 he started a monthly magazine titled Wassaja that he used as a platform to spread his views of the BIA and Native American education, civil rights and citizenship.