MAY 4, 1930


Born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Doris attended a boarding school and St. Mary’s School for Girls.  After raising six children, she became a Lakota language educator at Sinte Gleska University in the mid-1970s.  Taking classes there, she received an elementary education degree in 1984.  In addition to her university work, she is remembered as the woman who translated the script for the Oscar-winning movie Dances with Wolves into Lakota.  She also appeared in the film as Pretty Shield, wife of Ten Bears.  At the 1991 Academy Awards, she was a special guest and appeared onstage to translate into Lakota part of screenwriter Michael Blake’s acceptance speech for best screenplay. She died February 20, 2001, at Sinte Gleska University where she had taught Lakota studies for more than 28 years.

Source:  Kay Humphrey, “Lakota Linguist Leaves a Language Legacy,” Indian Country Today, 2/28/2001.  Retrieved 2/29/2020,
Photo: Jim Kaftan, National Park Service, 2014. Public Domain. 

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