Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Leader presides
Ada Deer is a nationally recognized social worker, political activist, and former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member. Ada became the first woman to be appointed Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, the first Native American woman to run for Congress in Wisconsin, the first native American to lobby Congress successfully to restore tribal rights, and the first Chairwoman of her tribe.
She has served on many local, state, and national committees, boards, and commissions, and has been the recipient of awards, including the Indian Council, Indian Resources Institute, Girl Scouts, National Women’s History, National Women’s Studies, Harvard University, Delta Gamma Foundation, and the John Jay Foundation.
Born in Keshena on the Menominee Reservation, Ms. Deer attended Milwaukee Public Schools, graduated from Shawano High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from UW Madison. After earning her master’s degree from the School of Social Work at Columbia University, she worked in Minneapolis at the Waite Neighborhood House, Bureau of Indian Affairs, University of Minnesota, and Minneapolis Public Schools. She then worked at the as director of Indian Upward Bound at UW Stevens Point. She subsequently became a distinguished lecturer at UW-Madison’s School of Social Work and directed the American Indian Studies Program.
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