Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

“The Most Important Indian”—In Memory of Hank Adams (1943–2020)

The museum mourns the passing December 21 of Hank Adams (Assiniboine–Sioux, 1943–2020). Born on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana and raised in Taholah, on the Quinault Reservation in Washington State, Adams is best known for his lifelong work to secure Native treaty rights, especially Northwest Coast tribes’ treaty rights to fish their accustomed rivers and grounds. The writer Vine Deloria Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux, 1933–2005) called Adams “the most important Indian” of the second half of the 20th century and predicted that historians would recognize his contributions to the struggle for Indigenous rights.

Volunteers with the Navajo & Hopi Families Covid-19 Relief Fund distribute food and other essential supplies to isolated communities and farmsteads on the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation. As part of the Smithsonian's virtual program 24 Hours in a Time of Change, Shandiin Herrera (Diné)—seated on the left, wearing a Duke University sweatshirt—describes how this grassroots response to the COVID-19 pandemic came together last spring and shares her experiences as the fund's volunteer coordinator in Monument Valley, Utah. (Photo by Karney Hatch)

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