PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM RECIPIENT NAVAJO ACTIVIST ANNIE DODGE WAUNEKA DIED
Born in 1910, near Sawmill, Arizona, Annie, while at boarding school, contracted the Spanish influenza. Recovering, she stayed at school to care for others. As a health & welfare advocate of the Navajo Nation, in 1951, she became the 2nd woman elected to the Tribal Council. For 27 years, Waukena headed the council’s Health & Welfare Committee. In 1953, she defeated her husband when he ran for her seat. Annie created an English-Navajo medical dictionary to help doctors & patients communicate, educated people about tuberculosis, did radio shows in Navajo on health information, served on Federal advisory boards, and improved housing & sanitation in her community. In 1963, Wauneka became the 1st Native American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was Ladies Home Journal “Woman of the Year,” in 1976. Other honors: The Indian Council Fire Achievement Award; Navajo Medal of Honor; and induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Annie died in Toyei, Arizona.
Sources: “Annie Dodge Wauneka, U.S. Park Service. Retrieved 8/10/2020, https://www.nps.gov/people/annie-dodge-wauneka.htm “Annie Dodge Wauneka, National Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 8/10/2020, https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/annie-dodge-wauneka/ Wikipedia Photo: Indian Health Service Historic Photo Collection, 1989. Annie Wauneka and Everett Rhoades, IHS Director at the Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Public Health Service. Public Domain. Source: https://www.ihs.gov/sites/provider/themes/responsive2017/display_objects/documents/2010_2019/PROV0310.pdf.