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Thorpe's Daughter is India

[[in red]]ANCHORAGE - OCT  21 - 1970[[/in red]]

By BARBARA BERRY
Times Sports Writer

"We now are beating the drums for ourselves," says Grace Thorpe, daughter of the world-famous Indian athlete, Jim Thorpe.

Miss Thorpe was referring to the National Indiana Women's Action Corps (NIWAC), which she is presently trying to organize. Currently in Anchorage attending the National Congress of American Indians (NAIC) convention, she is also meeting with the Indian women concerning her organization.

"We're not a Women's Lib group by any means," she stated. "I feel that the Indian family structure is breaking down. So many of the young people are forced to leave the reservation to find work in the cities during the week and return to the reservations only on weekends."

Right now NIWAC is mainly a reservation organization, but, according to Miss Thorpe, the group is trying to expand into the cities and anywhere else Indian women can be found. NIWAC is open to any woman interested in finding workable and creative solutions to national and local Indian problems.

The first organizational assembly will be held Oct. 31 at the American Indian Center in San Francisco.

"Ther is a big demand for action now. The NCAI plans for organization are only in the planning stages now. Someday we may be simply a women's organization in NCAI, but right now we're on our own," she said.

Miss Thorpe has been an "activist" for about two years. When her daughter by a former marriage, Dagmar, started college at Goddard in Vermont, she began looking for something different to do. Miss Thorpe had been selling [[column break]] advertising for the New York City phone directory for 12 years and owned a home in the city. "I sold my home for a profit and decided I could do what I wanted for about a year, so I went to work for the NCAI."

Her job was to interest industry in building plants on [[column break]] various Indian reservations. She conducted conferences and worked with sixteen different groups of Indians, including the Navajo, Sioux, and Metla Katlas in Alaska.

After completing here job with the NCAI, Miss Thorpe went on to Alcatraz and public relations for the group [[column break]] of Indians who took over that island off the coast of California last November.

She lived on the island for three months and, in March of this year, went up to Ft. Lawton, Wash., to help Indians regain their own tribal lands for an Indian Cultural Center on what the Army termed "surplus lands."

She also did public relations work for the Pit River Indians in Northern California in their fight for land. Miss Thorpe has been arrested and thrown in jail on a few occasions for her "activism." 

The Indian fight for land they feel is theirs based on an 1868 treaty which states that all U.S. surplus land the government no longer needs will revert back to the Indians. 

Miss Thorpe was born in Stroud, Okla., the same place her eminent father was born. She was not born on the reservation, as she says, there are no reservations to speak of in Oklahoma, except for the Osage tribe.

Of Sauk-Fox background, Miss Thorpe is the direct descendent of Chief Blackhawk, a noted chieftain for her tribe. Her grandfather was born in Iowa, but the Sauk-Fox were moved to Oklahoma where the land alloted them was broken up into mostly 160-acre plots for individual tribesmen.

Three-thousand acres were left to the tribe for schools and other tribal structures. She was sent to boarding school at age four, which, Miss Thorpe laments, is the way with many Indian families.

Her parents were divorced when she was a young child and she spent the rest of her childhood going back and forth between mother and father.

She remembers her father as a shy man who was always a gentleman. Thorpe, in 1950,

[[stamped]]OCT 21 1970[[/stamped]]

[[image]]
[[caption]] DISCUSSING NIWAC
Miss Grace Thorpe (left), daughter of the famed athlete, Jim Thorpe, discusses her plans for the National Indian Women's Action Corps with her cousin, Mrs. Bucki Nelson. Mrs. Nelson, formerly Bucki Naratowa of the Sauk-Fox tribe in Oklahoma, has lived in Seward for nearly 25 years. Mrs. Nelson is representing her brother, who is chief of the Sauk-Fox, at the National Congress of American Indians convention currently going on in Anchorage. Miss Thorpe is here for the convention and to interest Indian women in her organization. [[/caption]]
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