IPR is featuring some of the many Native American and Indigenous pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. This post appears courtesy of the South Dakota Hall of Fame and Britannica.
Eagle Woman, Sioux name Wambdi Autepewin (“Eagle Woman That All Look At”), was a Native American peace activist who advocated for the Teton (or Western Sioux) people. She was known as a woman of honor in both Native American and white societies for her lifelong attempts to make peace between the two communities.
Eagle Woman and her second husband, Charles Galpin, helped resolve many tense conflicts between the Sioux people and white traders, often risking their lives to mitigate violence. Following her husband’s death in 1869, Eagle Woman assumed his role as a trader on the Sioux reservation, one of the first women to assume that position. She was noted for her generosity but was also committed to seeing her people sustain themselves independently of the white population.
When the Sioux War broke out in 1876, the government refused to supply provisions for the Sioux people and attempted to force a new treaty that would have ceded disputed lands to the United States. During the war, Eagle Woman was the primary translator for her people during negotiations with the government. When the Sioux War ended in the early 1880s, Eagle Woman again played an instrumental role in easing the transition to reservation living for her people. She died peacefully at the home of her daughter Alma in 1888.
Legacy Eagle Woman Who All Look At
South Dakota Hall of Fame