Viewing page 8 of 110

[[newspaper clipping]]


Grace Thorpe helps Indians secure surplus properties
By Debbie Knowlton

"I have been active in helping to secure surplus properties for Indian educational and cultural purposes," commented Grace Thorpe, daughter of the famous Indian athlete Jim Thorpe and public relations officer for D-QU. 

Miss Thorpe helped to organize a letter-writing campaign to HEW in behalf of D-QU and has been working with the various news medias in circulating information concerning the university. 

"Approximately 5,000 flyers are being mailed to local citizens explaining D-QU, its purposes, and why such a school is necessary," she stated. 

She added that although the Junior Women's Club of Orangeville and Davis Citizens' Committee in Support of D-QU are working on the mail project, more volunteers are needed to type, file, fill envelopes, and to do similar activities. 

An electric mimeograph machine is D-QU's most current need, but office furniture, business machines, plumbers and carpenters are also necessary," she stated.

Before coming to Davis, Miss Thorpe worked at Alcatraz for three months in public relations and as a hostess to visitors. 

She left the island to help reclaim government surplus lands for an urban multi-purpose Indian project in Fort Lawton, Washington, where she remained for almost a month. She has been arrested three times for her "invasion" activities.

Concerning federal Indian schools, both Miss Thorpe and her father, attended Haskell Institute in Kansas. She commented that her father, who also studied to be a tailor at Carlisle Indian school in Pennsylvania, thought the federal institutions were inadequate and limiting because they stressed vocational training with little emphasis on for post-high school education. Beyond her Haskell schooling, Miss Thorpe considers herself to be "self-educated", primarily through various correspondence courses. 

Miss Thorpe is also organizing the National Indian Women's Action Corps which is seeking workable and unique solutions to national and local Native American problems. The group hopes primarily to foster unity among all Indians as well as to strengthen the Indian family unit, promote individual development, preserve the Native American culture and heritage, and to insure religious and civil rights. 

She is also establishing a committee for returning surplus lands to Indians for educational and cultural projects. 

Miss Thorpe will be leaving in March to visit New York, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles on a fund-raising conference tour for D-QU and for surplus land reclamations for Native American schools and culture centers. She hopes to organize citizen committees for both Indians and non-Indians in the areas and to provide general information about current Native American problems.

Regarding her Sauk-Fox Indian ancestry, Miss Thorpe, like her father, is a descendant of Chief Blackhawk and was born in Stroud, Oklahoma. The original tribal grounds are in Iowa, but the Sauk-Fox were moved to non-reservation lands in Oklahoma during her grandfather's era. 

The active lady has been quoted as remembering her father, who died in 1953, as a shy, humble, "man's man," and gentleman. 

In the 1912 Olympics, he won the decathalon and pentathalon events, but his records were discarded because he had played semi-professional summer baseball in college.

However, in 1950, he was named Indian Athlete of the half-century and in 1969 the Jaycees of Carlisle began a campaign to reinstate Thorpe's records and to clear his name of any injustices. 

During World War II, Miss Thorpe spent two and one-half years in the Women's Army Corps. She married Fred Seely, but they were divorced several years later. Her son was killed in an auto accident and her daughter is currently attending Goddard University. 

People interested in the organizations or D-QU can contact Miss Thorpe at 752-3237.

Grace Thorpe [[/caption]]
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact