Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 13:3 (Summer 1993). Copyright © 1993 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


She was laid to rest beside her husband on a fall Sunday in a small Nebraska town. Three clergymen performed the simple service, the pastor of the Walthill Presbyterian Church, the pastor of the Blackbird Hills Mission, and a member of the Presbyterian Home Missions Board. The closing prayer was given by an Omaha tribal elder. That afternoon a moving graveside service was performed by members of the Amethyst Chapter of the Eastern Star. This diverse assemblage, paying their last respects on 19 September 1915 at the family home and at the Bancroft Cemetery, represented only one facet of the remarkable life of the fifty-year-old woman they were honoring. She was a respected medical doctor, and she was an Indian reformer, but above all Susan LaFlesche Picotte was a proud Omaha Indian who moved easily between two cultures. She had successfully bridged the two worlds, becoming acculturated without totally sacrificing her Indianism.1