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Dartmouth Commencement 2004

Posted 06/13/04

Honorary degree citation to Rebecca L. Adamson (Doctor of Humane Letters)
Rebecca L. Adamson
Rebecca L. Adamson

You grew up in Ohio and would visit your Cherokee grandparents each summer in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina where you learned, in your words, "the Indian value of listening." You listened well, and grew up to become a passionate advocate for Native peoples everywhere. One of your first efforts involved education, when you helped secure congressional passage of the Indian Education Self-Determination Act in 1975, which gave Native Americans the right to run their own schools on their reservations and elsewhere.

In 1980, with your unemployment check and a small grant from the Ford Foundation, you founded the First Nations Development Institute, to help Native communities build sound, sustainable economies through culturally appropriate, values-driven development. The organization has provided grants to hundreds of tribal groups and individuals. And through First Peoples Worldwide you have expanded this work, to help the first peoples of Australia and Botswana.

A strong believer in the power of education, you have established scholarship programs for Native students. You are the recipient of numerous awards including Ms. Magazine's "Woman of the Year" in 1997 and the John W. Gardner Leadership Award in 2001. Dartmouth, with its own charter commitment to Native American education, draws you into our fellowship today. The College is most pleased to present to you the degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

- James Wright

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