DNC on the Passing of Former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ada Deer
August 17, 2023
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Native Caucus Chair Clara Pratte released the following joint statement on the passing of former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ada Deer:
“Our hearts are filled with sadness and grief as we mourn the passing of Native American rights activist, community organizer, and Menominee citizen Ada Deer. As the first woman to be appointed the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Menominee Nation, and the first Native American woman to run for Congress in Wisconsin, Ada was the embodiment of what it means to be a trailblazer.
“Whether it was leading the charge to restore federal recognition for the Menominee Tribe or fighting for the sovereignty of all Indigenous nations as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Ada always sought to, in her own words, ‘speak up and speak out’ on behalf of Indian Country. Ada’s legacy of serving her community, fighting for Native American rights, and knocking down doors for generations of Native women will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ada Deer’s loved ones as we celebrate her remarkable lifetime of service.”