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Charles Alexander Eastman


Charles Alexander Eastman (1858-1939), or Ohiyesa ("victor"), was born to a Sioux father and a mixed-blood mother on a Santee Sioux reservation in Minnesota. According to the philosophy of the time, Eastman received his education among whites, attending preparatory school and then Dartmouth College, and later graduating from medical school. He became an agency physician for the Indian Health Service and worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where he cared for the wounded after the US Army's 1890 attack on Lakota chief Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee. Eastman moved to Washington, DC, in the late 1890s and lobbied the government on behalf of the Santee Sioux. He then held a succession of government positions; President Roosevelt assigned him in 1903 to revise the allotment of tribal lands and to assign the Sioux family names to protect their land titles. Author of the autobiographical Indian Boyhood (1902), Eastman helped to found the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
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