MAY 26, 1903


Born in 1854 in Bellevue, Nebraska (NB), her name meant “Bright Eyes.” Eldest daughter of Omaha Chief Joseph La Flesche, Susette, after boarding school, went to Elizabeth Institute for Young Ladies in New Jersey in 1869 and developed her writing ability. In 1879, with future husband correspondent Thomas Tibbles, Susette went on a lecture tour highlighting the forced relocation of the Ponca Nation–over 1/3 had died. She was Standing Bear’s interpreter during his 1879 trial & later toured with Tibbles, Standing Bear, and her ethnologist half-brother Francis. She also testified before Congress on Native American rights. In 1891, the Tibbles went to Pine Ridge to inquire into the Wounded Knee Massacre. Susette, who died in Bancroft, NB, in 1902, was eulogized in the U.S. Senate. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994. Her siblings were Francis; tribal financial manager, Rosalie; teacher, Marguerite; and Susan–first Native American female physician.

  “Susette La Flesche,” National Women’s Hall of Fame.  Retrieved 11/7/2021, La Flesche, Susette - National Women’s Hall of Fame (
“Susette La Flesche Tribbles,” Nebraska Studies.  Retrieved 11/7/2021, Susette La Flesche Tibbles (
Photo: José María Mora (1847-1926), circa 1879.  Public Domain.  Source: Susette LaFlesche Tibbles | National Portrait Gallery ( Accession No. NPG 2013.3.

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