CHA-ME (LUCY TAYIAH EADS) BORN—1ST FEMALE TRIBAL CHIEF OF THE KAW NATION
Born near Beaver Creek, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), her Kaw name meant “Little Deer.” Her father was Kaw; her mother, Kaw and Potawatomi. When Eads was 5, her parents died of starvation. Orphaned, she and her brother were adopted by Chief Washungah. Eads trained as a nurse at Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, and then moved to New York where she married twice and bore 9 children. Meanwhile, the Kaws had been without a principal chief since Washungah’s death in 1919. In 1922, the Kaw elected Eads. She delivered a petition to the Commission of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., in 1924, to reestablish the Kaw Agency and, in 1929, was invited to the presidential inauguration for Herbert Hoover by Charles Curtis, vice president and fellow Kaw. Eads made education a priority for her people. She was reelected principal chief, but the government agency was abolished in 1928. Eads later worked as a nurse at Haskell. She died in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, on October 11, 1961.
Source: “Lucy Tayiah Eads,” Kansipedia, Kansas Historical Society, 6/2013. Retrieved 7/21/2020, https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/lucy-tayiah-eads/18324 Photo: Author unknown, circa 1920-1939. Courtesy of kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply. Source: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/208388.