Carole Anne Heart, Indian advocate, dies at 61

Carole Anne Heart. Photo Courtesy National Indian Education Asssociation. Carole Anne Heart, a prominent advocate for Indian education and health care, died on Friday after a battle with cancer. She was 61.

Heart served as president of the National Indian Education Association in 2001. She opposed the use of Indians as mascots and worked to improve Indian student graduation rates.

"Our prayers and thoughts go out to Carole's family and all she deeply touched with her heart and humor. She will be greatly missed," said current NIEA President Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert.

Heart more recently served as executive director of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, which represents tribes in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Heart was Rosebud and Yankton Sioux. Her Lakota name was Waste Wayankapi Win, or "They See Good." It means "people see something good in me," she told author Sandy Johnson for the book "The Book of Elders, Life Stories & Wisdom of Great American Indians."

Visitation is scheduled today in Rapid City. Wake services begin Wednesday, with a traditional Lakota service on Thursday. Heart will be buried in Rapid City on Thursday [Obituary in Rapid City Journal].

$rl National Indian Education Association -
Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board -