Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 30, 2000 - Issue 26


Black Bear Receives Human-Rights Award

Tillie Black Bear of Mission, South Dakota said receiving a human-rights award from President Clinton was an achievement not only for her but for everyone in the battered-women's movement.

The president recently awarded Black Bear one of five Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards in celebration of Human Rights Day. The award was established in 1998 to honor Roosevelt's commitment to the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she helped bring about.

"I feel that by accepting this award, it brings to the forefront the violence that women experience in this country is a human-rights issue," Black Bear said. "I am pleased that the president recognizes this. It is a coup for all of us that work in the battered-women's movement across the United States, and in particular throughout Indian country."

For more than 20 years, Black Bear has been a strong voice for American Indian and women's rights and an advocate for victims of domestic violence. In 1977, she helped found the first shelter for native women in the country, the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society on Rosebud Indian Reservation.

A founding member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Black Bear also helped form the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in 1978.

The other 2000 Eleanor Roosevelt award winners were Frederick Charles Cuny, Norman Dorsen, Elaine R. Jones and the Rev. Theodore Edgar McCarrick. Clinton also awarded Burmese human-rights and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

This year's human-rights awards mark the 52nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 to affirm human rights, according to a news release from the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


She's Got Help


Human Rights Day-White House Fact Sheet



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