Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Susan La Flesche Picotte

It's Native Peoples week at NewMoonGirls.com! Visit NMG.com this week to read about several other outstanding native woman.

Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American female physician. She was born in 1865 into the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. The daughter of a chief who stressed the importance of education, she received her schooling through homeschooling and an all-girls school in New Jersey. She later graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, making her the Native American woman to earn a medical degree, as well as the first person in America to receive federal aid for education.

After receiving her degree, she worked on her tribes reservation as a doctor. On the reservation, she was confronted with the challenges that the changing lifestyles associated with American culture had on her tribe. She also spent her life studying health and bringing knowledge back to her tribe.

She died when she was 50 years old, in 1915. Two years before her death, she opened a hospital which now stands as the Susan La Flesche Picotte Center, celebrating her life work as a doctor.

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