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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Marcella LeBeau
by Turtle Island Storytellers Network

Marcella Ryan LeBeau is a member of the Two Kettle Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and lives in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Her Lakota name is Wigmuke Waste Win (Pretty Rainbow Woman) Her great-grandfather, Chief Joseph Four Bear (Mato Topa), signed the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868. Her grandmother, Louise Bear Face, was related to Rain In The Face who took part in the Battle of the Little Horn.

Marcella served as a nurse in WWII becoming a 1 st Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. The army service took her from the USA to Wales, England, France and Belgium. Since receiving the French Legion of Honor Award on June 6, 2004 in Paris France, at the occasion of the 60 th Anniversary of D-Day, Marcella has been requested to participate at many Veterans' events, speaking of her military experience in World War II. Marcella served one term as District 5 council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is also honored to speak to the youth at elementary, high school and college venues when she is invited.

In 1992 and 1995 Marcella and her son, Richard went to Glasgow, Scotland with interest in the return of the Ghost Dance Shirt that was taken from Wounded Knee in 1890. After negotiations the ghost shirt was returned by the Kelvin Grove Museum. George Craeger, with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, sold some artifacts to the museum and donated a Ghost Shirt. It's now held at the Heritage Cultural Center at the South Dakota Historical Society in Pierre, South Dakota.

After retiring as the Director of Nursing from the Indian Health Service in Eagle Butte, Marcella and her granddaughter, Bonnie opened a machine quilting shop located in Eagle Butte. They make a variety of quilts. The main feature of their shop is the star quilt frequently used by the Lakota people for honoring and naming ceremonies, memorial give aways, etc. which are traditional of this area's native people.

Marcella having raised a family of eight children is an advocate for the Lakota language and culture, youth, veterans, elderly, upholding treaties, and wellness.

Personal Note: Paul and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to Eagle Butte for the return of the Ghost Dance Shirt. We met Marcella and found her to be a gracious, kind woman. I will never forget that trip and meeting this special woman.



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Wisdom of the Elders
Committed to Native American cultural sustainability, multimedia education and race reconciliation, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) records and preserves the oral history, cultural arts, language concepts, and traditional ecological knowledge of exemplary American Indian historians, cultural leaders and environmentalists in collaboration with arts and cultural organizations and educational institutions. We especially seek to correct misconceptions, end prejudice, bring health and wellness to Native people, and demonstrate how Indian culture has and is continuing to enrich our worlds.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
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