JANUARY 1, 1988

BLACKFOOT MINNIE SPOTTED WOLF DIED—1ST NATIVE AMERICAN FEMALE U.S. MARINE

Born in 1923 and raised on a ranch near White Tail Creek, about 15 miles from Heart Butte, Montana, Spotted Wolf grew up doing such ranch work as “cutting fence posts, driving a two-ton truck, and breaking horses.”  Compared to breaking horses, she described Marine Corps boot camp as “hard, but not too hard.”  Minnie enlisted in July 1943 and served for four years as a heavy equipment operator and as driver for visiting general officers on bases in both Hawaii and California.  After her discharge in 1947, Spotted Wolf returned to Montana, married, attended college and earned a two-year degree in Elementary Education in 1955.  To that, she later added a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 1976.  After a 29-year teaching career, Minnie Spotted Wolf passed away in 1988.  According to her daughter, “she could outride guys into her 50s.”  In 2019, a section of US Highway 89 was dedicated as “Minnie Spotted Wolf Memorial Highway.”

Sources:  Cody White, “Minnie Spotted Wolf and the Marine Corps,” National Archives: Pieces of History, 7/25/2013.  Retrieved 8/13/2019, https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2013/07/25/minnie-spotted-wolf-and-the-marine-corps/
 Wikipedia
Photo:  Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Date:  Between 7/1943 and 1947.  Public Domain.