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Timeline / Renewing Native Ways / 1975: Lakota leader Frank Fools Crow prays for U.S. Senate

1975: Lakota leader Frank Fools Crow prays for U.S. Senate

On September 5, the Lakota healer Frank Fools Crow (b. 1890–d. 1990) becomes the first American Indian holy man to lead the opening prayer for a session of the U.S. Senate.

“In 1914, at the behest of elderly holy man Stirrup, Fools Crow set out on a vision quest, a trip of a hundred miles on horseback to Bear Butte, ‘the most awesome vision-questing place in the Black Hills.’ After this vision quest, Fools Crow becomes a major spiritual leader among the Lakota. He also becomes a political leader in the Porcupine District (South Dakota); he participated in several Wild West shows early in the century, as well. In 1975, at the invitation of South Dakota senators James Abourezk and George McGovern, Fools Crow traveled with a Sioux delegation to Washington, D.C. … He also served as a spiritual adviser to American Indian Movement activists occupying Wounded Knee (South Dakota) in 1973.” —Bruce Johansen and Donald A. Grinde, The Encyclopedia of Native American Biography: Six Hundred Life Stories of Important People, from Powhatan to Wilma Mankiller, 1998

Federal-Tribal Relations
Great Plains