She Was A Native American Leader Who Dedicated Her Life To Mediating Tensions Between White Settlers And Native Americans

torwaiphoto - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

Unfortunately, in school, I wasn’t taught much about powerful and famous Indigenous people in history beyond Sacagawea and Squanto.

There are so many important Native American figures we can and should learn about today to give us more insight into America’s past and the lives of those who came before us.

For instance, do you know the story of Chipeta?

Chipeta, also known as White Singing Bird, was a fascinating female Native American leader and advocate who dedicated her adult life to meditating between white settlers and Native Americans.

Chipeta was born around 1843 into the Kiowa Apache tribe but was adopted as a child by people of the Uncompahgre Utes tribe, located in Colorado after her parents were killed.

She was a talented and skilled young woman, growing up to excel in beadwork, tanning hides, making clothes, and speaking several languages. She was known by her community for being beautiful, well-spoken, and dignified.

In 1859, Chipeta married Uncompahgres Chief Ouray and became his advisor and confidant. She defied the normal expectations for women in her tribe, as she would attend and sit beside her husband during council meetings and help him work to improve the lives of the Ute people.

Chipeta is well known in history for her efforts to mediate and promote peace between the Ute tribes of Colorado and white settlers. She and Chief Ouray would negotiate treaties with the settlers and show them kindness and ways to navigate their land.

When tensions rose between the Ute people and the settlers, the Ute had plans to attack and raid a nearby group of settlers. Chipeta bravely rode on horseback and warned the white settlers to save their lives.

torwaiphoto – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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