SARAH WINNEMUCCA Biography - Educators, philosophers & public speakers


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Born the daughter of Chief Winnemucca of the Paiutes, a tribe in Nevada and     
California, Sarah Winnemucca lost family members in the Paiute War of 1860. She 
tried to operate as a peacemaker, using her language skills learned in convent 
school to work as an interpreter in an Army camp. She went with her tribe to the
Malheur reservation in 1872, and when the Bannock War broke out in 1878 she     
offered her services to the Army. She volunteered to enter Bannock territory   
when she learned that her father and other tribesmen had been taken hostage by 
the Bannocks. She freed her father and other captives and served as an army     
scout in the war against the Bannocks. She spoke out, describing the plight of 
her people, exiled from their homelands, and the treachery of dishonest Indian 
agents. She drew much attention, and was able to speak with President Rutherford
Hayes and Interior Secretary Carl Schurz; promises to return her tribe to the   
Malheur Reservation were never honored. She wrote Life Among the Piutes[sic]:   
Their Wrongs and Claims, published in 1883. Despite passage of Congressional   
legislation enabling the return of the Paiute land, the legislation was never