The Beatrice Medicine papers, 1913-2003 (bulk 1945-2003), document the professional life of Dr. Beatrice "Bea" Medicine (1923-2005), a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, anthropologist, scholar, educator, and Native rights activist. The collection also contains material collected by or given to Medicine to further her research and activism interests. Medicine, whose Lakota name was Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman," focused her research on a variety of topics affecting the Native American community: 1) mental health, 2) women's issues, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs of Native Americans, and 6) Children and identity issues. The collection represents Medicine's work as an educator for universities and colleges in the United States and in Canada, for which she taught Native American Studies courses. Additionally, because of the large amount of research material and Medicine's correspondence with elected U.S. officials and Native American leaders, and records from Medicine's involvement in Native American organizations, the collection serves to represent issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, and reflects what Native American leaders and organizations did to navigate and mitigate those issues. Collection materials include correspondence; committee, conference, and teaching material; ephemera; manuscripts and poetry; maps; notes; periodicals; photographs; training material; and transcripts.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Beatrice Medicine reflect Medicine's interests as an academic and an activist, and contain correspondence, committee, conference, and teaching material, ephemera, manuscripts and poetry, maps, notes, periodicals, photographs, and training material (see series scope notes for further details on contents). The majority of the material is printed matter that Medicine collected, with less of her own work included. Taken together, the collection reflects issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, as well as the network of Native American leaders and organizations that navigated these issues. Student papers, letters of recommendation, evaluations, and documents containing personally identifiable information are restricted.
The collection is divided into 24 series:
Series 1: Native American Culture and History, 1954-1962, 1967-1975, 1978-1989, 1991-1997, 1999-2002
Series 2: Appropriations, Economics, and Labor, 1955, circa 1970-1980, 1988, 1993, circa 1995-2000
Series 3: Archaeology, 1935-1950, 1952-1973, 1987-1995
Series 4: Native American Artists, Authors, Crafts, Film, and Poets, 1951-1969, 1972-2002
Series 5: Census, Demographic, and Poll Data, 1974, 1984-1986
Series 6: Civil Rights, 1972, 1980, 1983-1997
Series 7: Committee Material: Correspondence, Meeting Minutes, and Memos, 1985-1995
Series 8: Conference Material, 1955-1962, 1965, 1968-1974, 1976-2002
Series 9: Correspondence, 1952, 1959, 1962, 1966-2000
Series 10: Education: Native American Institutions and Teaching Material, 1948-2002
Series 11: Ephemera: Campaign, Pow-Wow, and Other Event Buttons, and Calendars, 1973, 1976, circa 1980-2000
Series 12: Health: Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Recovery, Disabilities, Healthcare, Mental Health, Nutrition, and Wellness, 1955, 1965, 1969-1999, 2004
Series 13: Historic Preservation, 1942, 1956, 1960-1969, 1979, circa 1985-1998
Series 14: Invitations, 1966-1979, 1982, 1991-2002
Series 15: Linguistics: Native American Languages, 1961, 1963, 1975, 1978-1981, 1987-1995
Series 16: Manuscripts, 1964-2003
Series 17: Maps, 1982-1991
Series 18: Museum Material: Native American Museums, Exhibit Preparation, and the National Museum of the American Indian, 1949, 1962, circa 1976-1998
Series 19: Oversized Material, 1962, circa 1965-1996, 1999
Series 20: Published material: Journals, Magazines, Monographs, and Newsletters, 1914, 1932, 1944, 1946-1947, 1952-2003
Series 21: Reports, 1947-1949, 1956-1998
Series 22: Training Material, 1968, 1988-2000
Series 23: Women and Gender, 1962, 1965, circa 1970-1997
Series 24: Restricted Material, 1972, 1978, 1987-1999
Biographical / Historical:
A member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Beatrice "Bea" Medicine—also known by her Lakota name Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman"—was born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota on August 1, 1923.
As a young adult, she studied at the South Dakota State University on the Laverne Noyes Scholarship, where she attained her B.A. in Anthropology in 1945. Between 1945 and 1951, Medicine worked a variety of teaching positions, including for three American Indian institutions (see Chronology for Medicine's complete work history). In 1951, Medicine went back to school and worked as a research assistant until she earned her master's degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in 1954. For the remainder of her life, Medicine served as faculty, visiting professor, and scholar-in-residence at thirty-one universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, teaching cultural and educational anthropology courses, as well as Native American Studies. As an educator, Medicine carried out her research on a variety of issues affecting Native American and First Nation communities, including: 1) mental health issues, 2) women's issues—professionalization, sterilization, socialization, and aging, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use and abuse, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs, and 6) socialization of children and identity needs. Medicine's research in American Indian women's and children's issues, as well as her research in gender identity among the LGBT community was among the first to document the narratives of the members of these groups.
In 1974, Medicine testified alongside her cousin, Vine Deloria, Jr., as an expert witness in the Wounded Knee trial (United States v. Banks and Means). Following this, Medicine returned to school to pursue her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, which she completed in 1983 at the University of Wisconsin. With her experience as a researcher, educator, activist, and Lakota woman, medicine sought to create more opportunities for multicultural and bilingual education for minority students, especially those of Native American descent. Such education, she believed, provided students a means to preserve and legitimize their own cultural identity, debase negative stereotyes, and be recognized as individuals who are capable of academic and economic achievement.
Medicine was an active member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and pursued her educational agenda further through the establishment of the Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions (CAPMI) (1987-1995), which brought anthropologists out of retirement to teach at minority institutions. (See Chronology for a complete list of organizations and committees in which Medicine was involved.) The program was short-lived but provided a space for minority students to confront a field that historically misrepresented them, reclaim their narratives and languages, and instigate positive change as potential future anthropologists.
Medicine officially retired on August 1, 1989, but continued to be active in AAA and was honored many times for her contributions to the field of anthropology. Some of her recognitions include the Distinguished Service Award from AAA (1991) and the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology (1996). One of Medicine's highest honors, however, was serving as the Sacred Pipe Woman at the 1977 Sun Dance. Medicine continued her research into retirement, and went on to publish her first book in 2001, Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings. Medicine died in Bismarck, North Dakota on December 19, 2005. Medicine's final work, Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux was published posthumously in 2006. In honor of her life's work and dedication to education, the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) created the Bea Medicine Award, a scholarship travel grant for students to attend the Annual Meeting of the SfAA.
Chronology: Beatrice Medicine
1923 August 1 -- Beatrice Medicine (also known by her Lakota name, Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman") is born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota.
1941-1945 -- Receives scholarship: Laverne Noyes Scholarship, South Dakota State University
1945 -- Receives Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, South Dakota State University.
1945-1946 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Haskell Indian Institute (B.I.A.)
1947-1948 -- Health Education Lecturer, Michigan Tuberculosis Association
1948-1949 -- Teacher, Santo Domingo Pueblo, United Pueblos Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico
1949-1950 -- Teacher, Navajo Adult Beginner's Program, Albuquerque Indian School
1950-1951 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Flandreau Indian School
1950-1954 -- Fellowship: Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs Fellowships
1951-1954 -- Research Assistant, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University
1953-1954 -- Fellowship: John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship
1954 -- Receives Master of Arts, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University. Fellowship: American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
1954- -- Charter Member, American Indian Women's Service League
1955-1958 -- Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Washington
1956 -- Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1960 -- Mentioned as "Who's Who Among American Indians"
circa 1960 -- Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociology Hononary Phi Upsilon Omicron, Home Economic Honorary
1960-1963 -- Lecturer, Anthropology, University of British Columbia
1960-1964 -- Board of Directors, Native Urban Indian Centers in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta
1963-1964 -- Lecturer/Sociology and Teacher/Counselor, Mount Royal College, Indian Affairs Branch Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Research Grant
1965 -- Lecturer, Social Science, Michigan State University
1966 -- Psychiatric Social Worker, Provincial Guidance Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1966-1967 -- Receives grant: Career Development Grant, National Institute of Mental Health
1966- -- Member, National Congress of American Indians (Education Issues)
1967 -- Receives grant: Ethnological Research Grant, National Museum of Canada
1967-1968 -- Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Montana
1968 -- Teacher, "Cultural Enrichment Program," Standing Rock Indian Reservation, South Dakota Cited in "The Role of Racial Minorities in the United States," Seattle, Washington
1968 March -- Speaker: "The Pow-Wow as a Social Factor in the Northern Plains Ceremonialism," Montana Academy of Sciences
1968 May -- Speaker: "Patterns and Periphery of Plains Indian Pow-Wows," Central States Anthropological Society
1968 June -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," Canadian Sociology and Anthropological Association, Calgary, Alberta
1968 August -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German Speaker: "The Dynamics of a Dakota Indian Giveaway," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German
1968-1969 -- Director, American Indian Research, Oral History Project and Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of South Dakota
1968-1970 -- Consultant, Text Book Evaluation Committee, American Indians United
1969 -- Assistant Professor, Teacher Corps, University of Nebraska
1969 September -- Speaker: "The Red Man Yesterday," Governor's Interstate Indian Council, Wichita, Kansas
1969 December -- Speaker: "The Native American in Modern Society," Northwestern State College
1969-1970 -- Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University Speaker: "The Indian in Institutions of Higher Learning," Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1969-1975 -- Member, Editorial Board, American Indian Historical Society
1970 -- Mentioned for second time as "Who's Who Among American Indians" Steering Committee Member, Indian Ecumenical Convocation of North America Member, Planning Committee Indian Alcoholism and Drug Use
1970 August -- Speaker: "The Role of the White Indian Expert," 2nd Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1970 October -- Speaker: "The Ethnographic Study of Indian Women," Annual Convention, American Ethnohistorical Soceity
1970 November -- Speaker: "The Anthropologists as the Indian's Image Maker," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "The Anthropologist and Ethnic Studies Programs," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1970-1971 -- Associate Professor, Anthropology, San Francisco State University Member, Mayor's Committee on the Status of Women, San Francisco, California
1971 -- Member, Native American Scholars Board, Steering and Selection, American Indian Historical Society
1971 May -- Speaker: "Ethnic Studies and Native Americans," National Education Association
1971-1973 -- Pre-Doctoral Lecturer, Anthropology, University of Washington Consultant, American Indian Heritage Program
1972 -- Honored in "Potlatch" ceremony by Makah Tribal people at the National Indian Education Conference for contributions to Indian education Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, Americanist Annual Meeting, Rome, Italy Curriculum Advisor, Lakota Higher Education Center, Prine Ridge, South Dakota
1972 March -- Speaker: "Warrior Women Societies," Northwest Anthropological Conference
1972 April -- Chairperson and Speaker: "Racism and Ethnic Relations," Society for Applied Anthropology
1972 June -- Chairperson, Native American Studies Symposium, International Congress of Americanists, Mexico
1972 August -- Speaker: "Warrior Women of the Plains," International Congress of Americanists, Rome, Italy
1972 November -- Speaker: "Native Americans in the Modern World," Southwest Minnesota State College
1973 -- Expert Witness, Yvonne Wanro Trial, Spokane, Washington Member, Organization of American States, First Congress of Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico Speaker: "Self-Direction in Sioux Education," American Anthropological Association Speaker: "North American Native Women: The Aspirations and Their Associations," presented as a Delegate to the Inter-American Commission on Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico
1973-1974 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Native American Studies Program, Dartmouth College
1973-1976 -- Member, Committee on Minorities in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
1973- -- Consultant, Human Services Department, Sinte Gleska Community College
1974 -- Expert Witness, Wounded Knee Trial, Lincoln, Nebraska Speaker: "Indian Women's Roles: Traditional and Contemporary," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1974-1975 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Colorado College
1975-1976 -- Visiting Associate Professor, Anthropology, Stanford University
1975-1977 -- Member, Steering Committee, Council of Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association
1976 -- Visiting Professor, Educational Anthropology, University of New Brunswick Expert Witness, Topsky Eagle Feathers Trial, Pocatello, Idaho Panelist, White House Conference on Ethnic Studies, Washington, D.C.
1977 -- Expert Witness, Greybull Grandchildren Custody Case, Portland, Oregon American Indian representative to the World Conference on Indigenous People, Geneva, Switzerland Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1977 August 18 -- Medicine serves as Sacred Pipe Woman at the Sun Dance, Green Grass, South Dakota
1977-1980 -- Education Consultant, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C.
1978 -- Cited in the Directory of Significant 20th Century American Minority Women, Gaylord Professional Publications Biographical Sketch in "Moving Forward" of the Bookmark Reading Program, Third Edition
1978 August -- Speaker: "Issues in the Professionalization of Native American Women," Annual Meeting, American Psychological Association
1978-1982 -- Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 -- Visiting Professor, Department of Education Policy Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 August -- Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters, Northern Michigan University Speaker: "The Dakota Indian Memorial Feast: Reservation and Urban Manifestations," International Congress of Americanists, Lima, Peru
1980 -- Member, Nominations Committee, American Anthropological Association Biographical Sketch in "Native American Indian Personalities, Historical and Contemporary," Dansville, New York: The Instructor Publications, Inc.
1981 -- Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington-Seattle Speaker: "Linguistically Marginated: The Transformation of Dominated Speech Varieties," American Anthropological Association
1982 -- School of Social and Behavioral Science Academic Planning, California State University Speaker: "Policy Decisions: Federal Regulations and American Indian Identity Issues," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1982-1983 -- Anthropology Department Curriculum Committee, California State University
1982-1985 -- Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Indian Studies, California State University Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Studies Program, California State University
1982- -- President, Assembly of California Indian Women
1983 -- Receives Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Expert Witness, Fortunate Eagle Trial, Reno, Nevada Award: Outstanding Woman of Color, National Institute of Women of Color, Washingtonton, D.C. (for anthropological contributions) Award: Outstanding Minority Researcher, American Educational Research Association Publishes book with Patricia Albers: The Hidden Half: Indian Women of the Northern Plains Honor: Significant Academic Book (The Hidden Half), Choice, Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, American Library Association
1983-1984 -- Student Affirmative Action Coordinating Council, California State University
1983-1986 -- Member, Executive Board, Southwest Anthropological Association Member, Governing Board, Common Cause
1984 -- Member, Advisory Board of National Research for Handicapped Native Americans, North Arizona University Scholarly Publications Award Selection Committee, California State University Award: Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University Speaker: Field Work Methods: "Ties That Bond," Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "Career Patterns of American Indian Women," Council of Education and Anthropology, Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1984 November -- Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University
1984-1985 -- Participant, Chancellor's Office Grant to "Cross-Cultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences," California State University
1985 November -- Speaker: Conference on "The Native American: His Arts, His Culture, and His History," West Virginia State College
1985-1986 -- Board of Directors, Naechi Institute on Alcohol and Drug Education
1985-1988 -- Professor, Department of Anthropology and Director, Native Centre, University of Calgary
1985-1989 -- Member, Malinowski Awards Committee, Society for Applied Anthropology
1987 -- Honor: Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, University of Michigan
1987-1995 -- Member, Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association
1988 August 1 -- Medicine officially retires.
1989 -- Volunteer (Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association), Standing Rock College Honor (twice): Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, Wayne State University.
1990 -- Honor: "Outstanding Contributions for the promotion of sex equity in Education," Illinois State Board of Education Honor: Outstanding Lakota Woman, Standing Rock College
1991 -- Honor: Distinguished Service Award, American Anthropological Association. Medicine was the first American Indian to receive this award.
1991 -- Visiting Professor, Saskatchewan Indian Federal College Visiting Professor, Colorado College Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Humboldt State University
1992 -- Visiting Distinguished Professor, Women's Studies, University of Toronto
1993 -- Visiting Professor, Rural Sociology, South Dakota State University Award: Distinguished Native American Alumna Award, South Dakota State University
1993-1994 December -- Research Co-ordinator, Women's Perspectives, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
1994- -- Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta
1995 -- Scholar in Residence, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul Visiting Scholar, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia Award: Ohana Award, Multi-Cultural Counseling Excellence, American Association of Counselors
1996 -- Award: Bronislaw Malinowski Award, Society for Applied Anthropology. Buckman Professor, Department of Human Ecology, University of Minnesota
circa 1997- -- Associate Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, California State University
2001 -- Publishes book: Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings.
2005 -- Award: George and Louise Spindler Award, Council on Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association.
2005 December 19 -- Medicine dies during emergency surgery in Bismarck, North Dakota.
2006 -- Book: Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux is published posthumously.
2008 -- The Society for Applied Anthropology creates the Bea Medicine Award.
The papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Beatrice Medicine between 1997 and 2003, and by Ted Garner in 2006.
Materials relating to student grades, letters of recommendation, and evaluations have been restricted.
Lakota tales and texts wisdom stories, customs, lives, and instruction of the Dakota peoples written and compiled by Ivan Stars, Peter Iron Shell, Eugene Buechel ; and dictated by members of the Oglala and Sicangu bands of the Southern Lakota Sioux ; edited by Paul Manhart
Indian Family of Long Ago: Buffalo Hunters of the Plains
1 Film reel (color sound; 504 feet, 16mm)
Scope and Contents:
Edited film was filmed on the Piine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The film depicts the Lakota Indian's way of life as it was more than 200 years ago. Shown are building a teepee, the work of Indian women, men teaching boys how to hunt and hunting.
Local Numbers: HSFA 2003.5.118
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Matanuska-Susitna School District educational film collection, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution