December 4, 2018
To Whom it May Concern,
I believe the Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Hospital is an important piece of American history, and it’s place on the 2018 Most Endangered Historic Places illustrates the urgency of its immediate restoration.
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a service organization with three tenets: Patriotism, Education and most crucially, Historic Preservation. Daughters are actively engaged in preserving historic documents, artifacts and buildings, the hospital being a prime example.
From the beginning this historic structure was unique, including being fully funded outside of the federal government and built on the reservation to serve Native Americans. It is named after the very first Native American licensed physician… a late-19th century woman. An Omaha tribeswoman, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte championed public health and fair treatment of the Omaha tribe.
Recently the Major Isaac Sadler – La Belle Vue Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution had the honor of naming Susette La Flesche Tibbles as an Outstanding Woman in American History. [Dr. Picotte has been so named in 2009 and again in 2017.] The older sister of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, Mrs. Tibbles was an author, lecturer, illustrator and activist for Native American rights. She interpreted for Chief Standing Bear during his historic trial, including the heartfelt and poignant words “…I am a man. God made us both.” When she died in 1903 she was eulogized in the US Senate where she’d testified before Congressional committees advocating for Indian rights.
Receiving the award was Dr. Rudi Mitchell, an Omaha tribesman and retired Native American Studies professor at Creighton University. It will be displayed at the Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Hospital. Gary Bowen, Principal Architect of the restoration process was on hand to talk about the hospital, and assured chapter members the award would be displayed in the restored building.
Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte changed the face of medicine, and the hospital bearing her name is worthy of restoration and preservation.
Debra Miner, Regent
Major Isaac Sadler – La Belle Vue Chapter
111 Lafayette Lane
Bellevue NE 68005-2012