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September 13, 2019

For Immediate Release

Sept. 17, 2019

Muscogee (Creek) Citizen Sarah Deer named to Women’s Hall of Fame

Violence Against Women Advocate recognized for contributions

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen, domestic violence advocate and lawyer Sarah Deer was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Sept. 14 at the Del Lago Casino and Resort in Seneca Falls, New York.

Deer is one of 10 women honored during the Women’s Hall of Fame induction. Other inductees include: activist Angela Davis, actress and activist Jane Fonda, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and others.

Deer’s career as an advocate began by volunteering at a rape crisis center in Lawrence, Kansas. Her work as a volunteer advocate inspired her to attend law school.

In a 2014 interview with the Washington Post, Deer said that working at the crisis center was a pivotal point for her.

“That work offered a chance to listen and talk to many women, including students at Haskell Indian Nations University. They reached out to the crisis line, too, and the stories of those women showed so much resilience. But I also sensed a deep, deep despair, and after those early experiences and hearing those stories, I wanted to go to law school,” Deer said.

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a juris doctorate degree and a Tribal Law Certificate, Deer joined Mitchell Hamline School of Law faculty in 2008. Deer’s work combines victim’s advocacy and federal Indian law. Deer was instrumental in the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the reauthorization of The Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program Manager Shawn Partridge spoke on Deer’s work.

“Sarah Deer is widely known and very well respected as a leading force in the work to end violence against Indigenous women and throughout Indian Country,” Partridge said. “She is a fierce advocate for sovereign rights of Tribal Nations and Indigenous women. She carries the stories and experiences of her people and those impacted by violence, with such honor, care and respect. Sarah is a supportive mentor and sister in this work, and the Family Violence Prevention Program could not be more proud of her and this well-deserved recognition.”

The formal induction ceremony took place outside Seneca Falls, New York, which is considered to be the birthplace of women’s rights.