During World War II, Thomas “Tom” Oxendine became the first Native American to be commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Oxendine was a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Most of the members of this tribe have lived in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties in North Carolina. Oxendine was born... Continue Reading →

In 2020, Neilson Powless became the first Native American from the United States to compete in the Tour de France. As a child, he had first aspired to take part in that prestigious multiple-stage bicycle race. “It was so exotic and powerful that even before I turned 10, I dreamed of one day competing in... Continue Reading →

Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first known Native American in the United States to receive a medical degree as a doctor. A crucial component of Picotte’s pioneering medical career was her heavy reliance on transportation for visiting patients in far-flung locations. Picotte was born in 1865 on the Omaha Reservation of the Omaha tribe... Continue Reading →

Approximately 12,000 Native Americans served in the U.S. military during World War I. These servicemen, according to records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, included more than 2,000 who were in the U.S. Navy. One of those Navy sailors was Joseph Lewey (sometimes spelled as Lewy), a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine. He... Continue Reading →

A member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe, Aaron Yazzie was born in 1986 in Tuba City, Arizona. This town is part of the Navajo Nation, a Native American territory covering about 27,413 square miles (70,999.3 square kilometers) altogether in sections of northeastern Arizona; southeastern Utah; and northwestern New Mexico. Yazzie grew up in the city... Continue Reading →

John Beargrease, who was also known as Eshquabi, was born in the vicinity of Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior in 1858. He was the son of Moquabimetem, a chief of the Ojibwe people in that region. (The Ojibwe people are part of the group of Native American tribes collectively called the Anishinaabe.) Moquabimetem also... Continue Reading →

In 1878, a newly built lifesaving station began operations on Waddah Island on the Makah Indian Reservation in the U.S. Territory of Washington. (This territory in the Pacific Northwest became the 42nd state in 1889.) The Waddah Island Lifesaving Station, which was specifically located at Neah Bay, became one of the earliest U.S. federal government... Continue Reading →

Ola Mildred Rexroat, who achieved fame as the only Native American to serve as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, was an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She was born in Ogden, Kansas in 1917. Early on in her life, Rexroat moved with her family to South... Continue Reading →

In March 1914, Red Fox James began a journey of approximately 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) on horseback from the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana to Washington, D.C. He made this ambitious nine-month trip on a horse named Montana. “The ride was made for the purpose of creating interest in a proposal to establish a... Continue Reading →

Joseph Robert Toahty, who was half Pawnee and half Kiowa, established notable  records for Native Americans during his service in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Toahty was born in Oklahoma in 1919. He inherited the name Le-Tuts-Taka (meaning “White Eagle”) from his Pawnee ancestor Chief White Eagle, who had served as a U.S. Army scout... Continue Reading →

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