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"Seeking Social Justice: Indians, Women, and the Politics of Change"

Native American rights activist Ada Deer served as assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior for Indian Affairs and head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs under President Bill Clinton. A member of the Menominee nation, she recently retired as director of the University of Wisconsin--Madison's American Indian Studies Program. VOX of Dartmouth spoke with Deer earlier this month.


Ada Deer (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Her vision: "I want everyone to pay their rent on the planet. By that I mean that they accept their role and responsibility as citizens to improve their world. One person really can make a difference."

Her agenda: Prison reform in Wisconsin. Deer is working with the state's Department of Corrections and representatives of multiple tribes to build an American Indian community re-entry program, which she hopes will serve as a model in other places as well.

On being at Dartmouth: "It's good to be back." (Deer received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Commencement 2008.) "I'm excited to meet and interact with as many students as I can. We need people who want to change the world."

Interview by Kelly Seaman

  • Tuesday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Moore Hall, Filene Auditorium
  • 646-4062


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 4/9/09