Oscar Howe (Yankton Sioux)
Oscar Howe, a Yanktonia Sioux, was born on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and was a student of art at the Santa Fe Indian School. As a modern artist, Oscar Howe created a linear abstract design concept which uses the formal elements of line, color, and space to interpret his heritage.
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Maria Tall Chief (Osage)
Maria Tall Chief has an Osage father and a Scotch-Irish mother. She was born in the small town of Fairfax, Oklahoma in 1925. She was America's first great prima ballerina. She started dancing when she was 15 years old. In 1953, President Eisenhower bestowed upon her "The Woman of the Year" Award. Maria joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and quickly rose to soloist status. Maria also has had the honor of appearing as a guest star with the Paris Opera Ballet and was the only American to be a guest artist with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen. In 1997, Maria published her autobiography, America's Prima Ballerina, a record of her extraordinary life in the world of ballet.
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Buffy Sainte Marie (Cree)
Buffy St. Marie was raised in Maine and Massachusetts. She is a good singer and received a PHD in fine arts. She has degrees in Oriental Philosophy and Teaching. Buffy is famous for such songs as "Darling Don't Cry" and her music protesting the mistreatment of Native Americans and Mother Earth such as "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee".
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Cher is a singer and an actress. She has sung in many different styles ranging from early 60's "girl group" style ballads, to folk-influenced pop, to adult pop. Some of her hit singles include "Believe" and "Half Breed". She sang with "Sonny" Bono in such songs as "I got you babe". Her acting career began in the 1970's. She has acted in such films as Silkwood, Mask, Witches of East Wick, and Moonstruck, and she has won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
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Loretta Lynn (Cherokee)
Loretta Lynn is known as the "First Lady of Country Music". She received four consecutive CMA Vocal Duo of the Year awards between 1972 and 1975. She also received the CMA Entertainer of the year award in 1972 and was the first woman to win the award. She was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. Some of her Greatest hits include "Coal Miner's Daughter", "Your Looking at Country", and "Blue Kentucky Girl".
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Graham Greene (Oneida)
Graham Greene is a full-blooded Oneida. Almost all the characters he portrays are positive and dignified. He has acted in such movies as Running Brave, Dances with Wolves, Where the Spirit Lives, The Last of His Tribe, Thunderheart, Wounded, and Skins. He has also made appearances on such TV shows as L.A. law and Northern Exposure.
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Tantoo Cardinal (Cree)
Tantoo Cardinal was born July 20, 1950 in Fort McMurray, Alberta. When she was cast in her first role in 1971, Cardinal was a leader of a youth group petitioning to get the Canadian government to build more schools on Indian reservations in the province of Alberta. She is still politically active today. In 1991, Maclean's magazine declared Tantoo Cardinal "Actress of the Year". Tantoo Cardinal won the American Indian Film Festival award for best actress in 1993. She also received the first Rudy Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Native American in Film for her parts in Legends of the Fall, and The Education of Little Tree. Toronto Women in Film and Television honored Tantoo with an Outstanding Achievement Award. For her appearance on North of 60 she won a 1996 Gemini award for best performance by an actress in a guest role, dramatic series.
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Russell Means (Oglala Lakota)
Russell Means was born in 1939 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He was the first national director of The American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1960's. His acting career began in 1991. He starred in many films such as Buffalo Girls, and Last of the Mohicans. Russell has also written his autobiography among many other books, and has recorded two albums.
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Ohiyesa (Santee Dakota)
Charles Alexander Eastman
Eastman received his medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine. Eastman served at Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota, and was an eyewitness to both events leading up to and following the Wounded Knee Massacre of December 29, 1890. He also has written books called Indian Boyhood, Red hunters and the Animal people, Wigwam Evenings, The Madness of Bald Eagle, Old Indian Days, The Soul of the Indian, Indian Child Life, Indian Scout Talks, The Indian today, From the Deep Woods into Civilization, and Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains. Most of these books can still be purchased at your local bookstore.
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Vine Deloria (Yankton Sioux)
Vine Deloria was born in 1933 in Martin, South Dakota. He obtained a Masters of Theology degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Rock Island, Illinois in 1963 and a J.D. from the University of Colorado in 1970. He wrote such books as Red Earth White Lies, God Is Red, and Custer Died For Your Sins, An Indian Manifesto. Vine Deloria's books are also available at your local bookstore.
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For a more extensive list of Native Americans in the Arts, visit the First Americans in the Arts website at http://www.firstamericans.org .