In different ways, Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin) and Alice Jemison spoke out for their peoples’ rights.
A well-regarded Sioux writer, Zitkala-Sa served on the board of the Society of American Indians until it folded in 1920.
She then persuaded the General Federation of Women’s Clubs to sponsor her research into the government’s treatment of Native Americans. She also spoke to many women’s clubs about the need for Indian citizenship.
In addition, in 1926 she founded the National Council of American Indians and lobbied government officials for reforms.
Alice Jemison was both a journalist and one of the most active Native American lobbyists of the 1930s.
During this time she was the main spokesperson of the Seneca people and later the American Indian Federation in Washington, D.C. She strongly opposed the Bureau of Indian Affairs and any government involvement in tribal affairs.