21.3.16

Who is She? 14- Susan La Flesche Picotte

Susan was the first Native American woman to be recognized by US school standards as a doctor. I say recognized because women and men have been caring for and looking after the health of their families and tribes way before the term MD (Medical Doctor) was a title here in the US. Susan was from the "Omaha" tribe and was born in what is now known as Nebraska in1865. She was raised in a family that encouraged her to pursue her education. In 1884 she attended the Hampton Institute, which was founded to educate freed slaves. Her parents also encouraged her to learn about both the Native American and White world, which were crashing, rapidly changing, and mixing. When she finished, she returned to her reservation where she served her people, ding her best to stop outbreaks of smallpox, diptheria, and influenza. She owned and operated her own clinic in Nebraska and was instrumental in founding a hospital that is now a national landmark in her name. As an advocate for health she also participated in political efforts to protect Native Americans.

Sources: nrcprograms.org (site), biography.com/news/susan-la-flesche-picotte-biography-facts (site)

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