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    Helen L. Peterson papers 1944-1992
     
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    Creator: 
    Peterson, Helen L.
    Title: 
    Helen L. Peterson papers 1944-1992
    Phy. Description: 
    55 linear feet
    Digital Reference: 
    Finding Aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    Helen Peterson, an enrolled Oglala Dakota, studied business administration at Colorado State College and the University of Colorado and has had a career as an administrator. In 1948, she was appointed the first director of the Denver mayor's Committee on Human Relations (later the City and county of Denver Commission on Community Relations). In 1953-1961, she served as the executive she served as the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C. In 1962, she returned to her former position in Denver, serving there until 1970 except for 1968 when she served as assistant director after she determined and gained approval for the idea that a member of the legal profession should be the director. In 1967-1970 , she also served as executive director of American Indian Development, Inc., an educational organization devoted to helping American Indians expand their activities in community, local, state, and national life. Peterson was later an assistant to the Commissioner with the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    Peterson was named outstanding American Indian of 1955 at the annual American Indian Exposition at anadarko, Oklahoma. She was given distinguished service awards by Columbia University, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Congress of American Indians, White Buffalo Council of Denver, and the National Institute for Women of Color. In 1973, she was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Colorado.
    Summary: 
    The collection includes correspondence, notes, miscellaneous administrative documents, financial records, calendars, questionnaires, notes from interviews, survey forms, copies of resolutions, proceedings, speeches, programs, press releases, printed and processed material, and many other types of documents. Mainly these relate to Petersons's career and special interests between 1953 and 1970. There are also a few documents that concern the organizations which Peterson served for periods preceding or following her periods in office. Of special interest are the amterials related to the NCAI, many of which supplement the records in that organization's files. The collection also includes documents that concern a wide range of Indian interests and activities.
    Organization: 
    Papers concerning the National Congress of American Indians, including (1) policy and procedures, 1944-1961; (2) executive council, 1955, 1957; (3) executive council, 1951-1961; (4) conventions, 1945-1971; (5) chronological correspondence, 1945-1971; (6) subject file, 1949-1961; (7) legislation, 1947-1960; (8) membership and financial documents, 1944-1961; (9) NCAI Bulletin, 1958-1961; and (10) calendars, 1953-1954, 1956, 1958; Papers relating to the Commission on Community Relations in the City and County of Denver, including (11) artwork for publications, 1963-1964; (12) subject file, 1964-1969; (13) Denver Indian study project, 1962-1964; and (14) Jobs for Indians, 1967-1968; Papers Relating to American Indian Development, Inc., including (15) subject file, 1963-1972; (16) household survey/American Indian Development survey (University of Denver), 1972; (17) teaching materials, 1962-1972, and (18) workshops, 1962-1970; and Other Papers, including (19) Indian interest convferences, 1954-1965; (20) documents relating to Indian tribes (Akwesansne Mohawk, Eastern Cherokee, Coeur d'Alene, Colorado River Tribes, Salish and Kutenai, Fort Hall Shoshoni and Bannock, Menominee, Navaho, Papago, San Carlos Apache, Seneca, Dakota, Warm Springs, and Winnebago); (22) Indian news items, 1956-1970; (23) Indian newspapers and newsletters, 1960-1970; (24) audio tapes, 1958-1963; (25) photographs; (26) miscellaneous subject file, 1955-1970; and (27) miscellany, 1944-1970. The 39 boxes of unprocessed materials are unnaranged.
    Provenance: 
    This collection was received by the National Anthropological Archives from Helen Peterson in June 1987. It was then transferred from NAA to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center in 2007.
    Cite as: 
    Helen L. Peterson Papers, National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
    Restrictions: 
    Researchers must contact the NMAI Archives for an appointment to access the collection.
    Culture: 
    Coeur d'Alene Indians
    Colorado River Tribes
    Shoshoni Fort Hall
    Navajo Indians
    Papago
    Apache San Carlos
    Dakota Indians
    Cherokee
    Menominee Indians
    Salish Indians
    Mohawk Indians
    Seneca
    Bannock Indians
    Winnebago Indians
    Dakota-Colville
    Kootenai Indians
    Warm Spring Apache Indians
    Subject-Topical: 
    NCAI Bulletin
    Subject-Name: 
    National Congress of American Indians
    City and County of Denver Commission on Community Relations
    American Indian Development, Inc
    Form / Genre: 
    Photographs
    Repository Loc: 
    National Museum of the American Indian Archives, MRC-541, Cultural Resources Center, 4220 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746. (tel: 301/238-1400, fax: 301/238-3038).
    Local Number: 
    NMAI.AC.016
    Item Information
    Repository 
    American Indian ArchivesAdd Copy to MyList

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