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Aquash, Annie Mae (27 March 1945– December 1975), First Nations (Mi'kmaq) activist and American Indian Movement leader, First Nations (Mi’kmaq) activist and American Indian Movement leader, was born Annie Mae Pictou in the Shubenacadie band (now Indian Brook First Nation) reserve in central Nova Scotia, Canada, the youngest daughter of Mary Ellen Pictou and Francis Thomas Levi. (Most contemporary sources refer to her as Anna, but family members confirmed that Annie is the accurate form of her given name.) Her father left the family shortly before her birth, and Annie Mae spent the first four years of her life in the Shubenacadie reserve. Her mother remarried and brought her three daughters to live in the small Pictou Landing reserve near New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where she also gave birth to a fourth child....

Article

Pleasant, Mary Ellen (1812?–1904), legendary African-American woman of influence and political power in Gold Rush and Gilded Age San Francisco, was born, according to some sources, a slave in Georgia; other sources claim that her mother was a Louisiana slave and her father Asian or Native American. Many sources agree that she lived in Boston, as a free woman, the wife of James W. Smith, a Cuban abolitionist. When he died in 1844 he left her his estate, valued at approximately $45,000....

Article

Salm-Salm, Agnes Elisabeth Winona Leclercq Joy (25 December 1844–21 December 1912), princess, adventurer, and wartime humanitarian, was born in Swanton, Vermont (or southern Canada), the daughter of William Leclercq Joy, a farmer, and his second wife, Julia Willard. Salm-Salm always remained secretive about her youth, thereby feeding romantic rumors about her age, ancestry, and past. After spending some time in Cuba, as she asserted in her autobiography, she arrived in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1861, a vivacious, pretty young woman. There she attracted the attentions of Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm, the adventurous younger son of an old aristocratic German family. After serving in the Prussian and Austrian armies the prince had left Europe to escape his debts and to seek employment in the American Civil War....

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Wauneka, Annie Dodge (10 April 1910–10 November 1997), Native-American activist, was born on the Navajo reservation near present-day Sawmill, Arizona, the daughter of Henry Chee Dodge, a rancher, and K'eehabah, one of Dodge's three wives in a tribe where polygamy was permitted. Chee Dodge, as her father was known, was a prestigious Navajo leader, the wealthiest man in the local community, and the first elected chairman of the Navajo Business Council (1922–1928) as well as the fifth chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council, (1941–1947). He was also fluent in English; he had worked as an interpreter on the reservation. Annie spent her early childhood tending sheep on her father's ranch and entered the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school at Fort Defiance, Arizona, at eight years of age. Four years later she went to the government boarding school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That school included students of many tribes and so all classes were conducted in English, in which Annie became as fluent as her father....

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Sarah Winnemucca. Albumen silver print, 1883, by Norval H. Busey. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Winnemucca, Sarah (1844?–17 October 1891), spokeswoman for the Northern Paiute, was born near the sink of the Humboldt River in western Nevada, the daughter of Winnemucca, a Paiute chief, and Tuboitonie. In 1857 Chief Truckee, her maternal grandfather, arranged for Sarah and her younger sister Elma to live in the household of his friend, Major William Ormsby, a Virginian who managed a stage line at Mormon Station (Genoa). The girls worked at domestic chores and helped serve passengers at his stage stop. They were also companions to Ormsby’s only child, nine-year-old Lizzi. Here Sarah and Elma learned to read, write, and sing in English, picked up some Spanish phrases, and studied American history and the Bible. One year later the Ormsby family and the Paiute girls moved to Carson City, but in late September 1859 Sarah and Elma were suddenly called home by their father....