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s6y, kf, 25, 5b, pr4, v, xr, mj, v, gj, k, rx, Mary Brave Bird: A Journey Through Her Life As An Indigenous Rights Activist And Her Career As A Writer -
Mary Brave Bird
Source: The New York Times

Mary Brave Bird: A Journey Through Her Life As An Indigenous Rights Activist And Her Career As A Writer

Lakota Woman
Source: Grove Atlantic

Mary Brave Bird was a writer and a member of the ‘American Indian Movement‘ during the 1970s.  She was born with the name Mary Ellen Moore-Richard in 1954 on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota.

She is also known as Mary Brave Woman Olguin and Mary Crow Dog.

Mary grew up in a poor household and her father, Bill Moore, left when she was just a baby. Her father was mainly of white descent, and so she was teased and called ‘iyeska’ meaning ‘half-breed’.

Her stepfather taught her how to drink when she was only 10-years-old.

She went to a boarding school, and like many American Indians before her, she was asked to follow Christianity. Also, she was instructed not to converse in her native Sioux language.

Also Read: https://thetecheducation.com/what-made-former-trump-voters-change-their-mind/.

Mary As An Indigenous Rights Activist

Mary, at the age of 18, joined the ‘American Indian Movement’ (AIM).

She participated in important events like the Trail of Broken Treaties, 1972 and the occupation of the BIA headquarters in Washington. She also took part in the Occupation of Wounded Knee, 1973.

Mary died at the age of 58 in 2013 in Crystal Lake, Nevada. But, she was living on the Rosebud Reservation with her children.

She went on to marry one of AIM’s group leaders, Leonard Crow Dog. He had three children from his previous marriage and one son with Mary. They got divorced later, and Mary married Rudy Olguin in 1991. She had two children with Olguin.

Mary died at the age of 58 in 2013 in Crystal Lake, Nevada. But, she was living on the Rosebud Reservation with her children.

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Her Role As A Writer

Ohitika Woman
Source: Grove Atlantic

She will be best remembered for her two memoirs, ‘Lakota Woman’ (1990) and ‘Ohitika Woman’ (1993). Her friend, Richard Erdoes, helped her edit the books.

Lakota Woman went on to win the American Book Award.

Written with Richard Erdoes, Brave Bird tries to portray her life from her birth till 1977. It depicts the poverty, rape and racism of her childhood and the struggle to regain pride in her culture.

In an interview with ‘Los Angeles Times’, she said there should be more appreciation for AIM by the Native Americans.

The movie ‘Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee’ is based on Brave Bird’s book. It was directed by Frank Pierson and produced by Fred Berner.

Fifteen years after her memoir, Mary wrote another book titled ‘Ohitika Woman’. It depicts her life experiences until 1992 and brings forth ancient myths and traditions of her people. It somehow enhanced the details of her previous book.

About the author


Liza Das

I am a girl from Assam, India. I am currently pursuing my Masters in English Literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (EFLU). I am working as an intern for the content writing position at 'The Tech Education'. I have been writing on a wide range of topics, starting from politics to Hollywood celebrity news to some latest news as well. I would love to pursue content writing as a job in the future. Personally, I love writing whatever strikes my mind. I am an ardent fan of 'Harry Potter' and 'Friends'. One of my favorite hobbies is to read fiction novels. I love books by Dan, Brown, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Sidney Sheldon, Amish Tripathi, Lauren Weisberger, and the list goes on.