LaDonna Harris (Comanche Nation)

LaDonna Harris (Comanche Nation)

LaDonna Harris was born on February 26, 1931, in Oklahoma. She is a tribal citizen of the Comanche Nation. She has been a consistent and ardent advocate on behalf of Tribal America. In addition, she continues her activism in the areas of civil rights, environmental protection, women’s movements, and world peace.

Ms. Harris is the founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), over which she has presided since the 1970s. AIO advances, from an Indigenous worldview, the cultural, political and economic rights of Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. and around the world. Ms. Harris also helped found some of today’s leading national Indian organizations, including the National Indian Housing Council, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, National Tribal Environmental Council, and National Indian Business Association, as well as Common Cause and the National Urban Coalition. As an advocate for women’s rights, Ms. Harris was a founder of the National Women's Political Caucus. She also was an original member of Global Tomorrow Coalition and the U.S. Representative to both the OAS Inter-American Indigenous Institute and UNESCO.

Ms. Harris has served on many boards, including the boards of the National Museum of the American Indian, American Civil Liberties Union, Advancement of Maori Opportunity, and National Institute for Women of Color.

In 2000, Ms. Harris published her autobiography, LaDonna Harris: A Comanche Life (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press). In 2014, director and producer Julianna Brannum released her documentary LaDonna Harris: Indian 101, which chronicles her life as a Comanche activist and national civil rights leader.

  • Native American & Indigenous Studies

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