Ryan LeBeau is a member of the Two Kettle Band of the Cheyenne River
Sioux Tribe and lives in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Her Lakota name
is Wigmuke Waste Win (Pretty Rainbow Woman) Her great-grandfather,
Chief Joseph Four Bear (Mato Topa), signed the Fort Laramie Treaty
in 1868. Her grandmother, Louise Bear Face, was related to Rain
In The Face who took part in the Battle of the Little Horn.
Marcella served as a nurse in WWII becoming a 1 st Lieutenant
in the Army Nurse Corps. The army service took her from the USA
to Wales, England, France and Belgium. Since receiving the French
Legion of Honor Award on June 6, 2004 in Paris France, at the occasion
of the 60 th Anniversary of D-Day, Marcella has been requested to
participate at many Veterans' events, speaking of her military experience
in World War II. Marcella served one term as District 5 council
representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is also honored
to speak to the youth at elementary, high school and college venues
when she is invited.
In 1992 and 1995 Marcella and her son, Richard went to Glasgow,
Scotland with interest in the return of the Ghost Dance Shirt that
was taken from Wounded Knee in 1890. After negotiations the ghost
shirt was returned by the Kelvin Grove Museum. George Craeger, with
the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, sold some artifacts to the museum
and donated a Ghost Shirt. It's now held at the Heritage Cultural
Center at the South Dakota Historical Society in Pierre, South Dakota.
retiring as the Director of Nursing from the Indian Health Service
in Eagle Butte, Marcella and her granddaughter, Bonnie opened a
machine quilting shop located in Eagle Butte. They make a variety
of quilts. The main feature of their shop is the star quilt frequently
used by the Lakota people for honoring and naming ceremonies, memorial
give aways, etc. which are traditional of this area's native people.
Marcella having raised a family of eight children is an advocate
for the Lakota language and culture, youth, veterans, elderly, upholding
treaties, and wellness.
Personal Note: Paul and I were blessed with the opportunity
to go to Eagle Butte for the return of the Ghost Dance Shirt. We
met Marcella and found her to be a gracious, kind woman. I will
never forget that trip and meeting this special woman.
of the Elders
Committed to Native American cultural sustainability, multimedia
education and race reconciliation, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom)
records and preserves the oral history, cultural arts, language
concepts, and traditional ecological knowledge of exemplary American
Indian historians, cultural leaders and environmentalists in collaboration
with arts and cultural organizations and educational institutions.
We especially seek to correct misconceptions, end prejudice, bring
health and wellness to Native people, and demonstrate how Indian
culture has and is continuing to enrich our worlds.