NNEDV Honors and Celebrates the Legacy of Tillie Black Bear
July 25, 2014
NNEDV joins friends and colleagues across the nations in honoring and celebrating the life of Tillie Black Bear. Over the span of three decades, Tillie's foresight and determination gave birth to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center and the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society in South Dakota. Like her commitment to end violence against all women, the scope of Tillie's advocacy was broad. Whether building strong organizations, working to ensure that US laws addressed the needs of Tribal women and governments, or guiding the United Nations' analysis of domestic and sexual assault of Tribal women, Tillie taught us all to employ every option to advance women's safety.
As we honor Tillie Black Bear, we reflect upon the recognition that others have rightly bestowed upon her—including being named a Point of Light Awardee by President Bush in 1989 and receiving the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights from President Clinton in 2000. Those who had the privilege of knowing Tillie personally recall her boundless courage, expansive heart, incredible grace and inordinate wisdom. Those of us who simply had the opportunity to meet her, recall the amazing kindness of her spirit. All of us, throughout the generations, will know of the depth of her commitment and the firmness of her incredible legacy.