DECEMBER 2, 1987


Born Mary E. Glasko on March 21, 1896, in Sprague, Connecticut, her Wampanoag mother named her “Princess Red Wing” after the red-winged blackbird “to fling her mission far with grace.”  Her father was Narragansett.  Red Wing was the co-founder and editor of The Narragansett Dawn tribal newspaper, published from 1935-36.  She became Squaw Sachem of the New England Council of Chiefs in 1945 and presided over sacred ceremonies & festivals.  She was also a prominent storyteller in the Narragansett community, keeping alive the oral traditions of her tribe.  Red Wing preserved their history by founding the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Rhode Island.  From 1947-70, she served as a member of the Speaker’s Research Committee of the Under Secretariat of the United Nations.  In 1975, Red Wing received an honorary doctorate of human affairs by the University of Rhode Island, and, in 1978, was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.  Red Wing was buried in Pascoag, Rhode Island.

  Chris Poon, “Princess Red Wing: Preserver of Native American traditions,” Providence Journal-Bulletin, undated.  Retrieved 9/8/2020,
Photo:  Courtesy of Tomaquag Museum.  Source:

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