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Farewell Tillie Black Bear

Jul 22, 2014 — Categories: ,

FaithTrust Institute joins others in mourning the loss of Tillie Black Bear, an inspiring and important person in the work to end domestic violence. Tillie was an honored and loved leader in the battered women's movement. She was a founding mother of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), and a founder of the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Tillie was the first woman of color to chair the NCADV.

FaithTrust Institute joins others in mourning the loss of Tillie Black Bear, an inspiring and important person in the work to end domestic violence. The following was originally posted by National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) here.

It is with great sadness and deepest gratitude for her life and contributions that NCADV acknowledges and marks the passing of our much beloved fore-mother, Tillie Black Bear. After a period of increasingly difficult health challenges, Tillie left her struggle with us on July 19, 2014. She will be laid to rest on July 24, 2014 in South Dakota where she is a member of the Sincangu Lakota Nation/Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Tillie has been an honored and loved leader in the battered women's movement since our beginnings, and was a founding mother of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, (NCADV), and a founder of the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Tillie was the first woman of color to chair the NCADV.

Tillie was the recipient of an award from the US Department of Justice for her work with victims of crime in 1988, and in 1989 was one of President Bush's Points of Light. At the Millennium Conference on Domestic Violence in Chicago she was recognized as one of the ten founders of the domestic violence movement in the United States. President Clinton awarded her in December of 2000 with an Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. She was a recipient in May of 2003 of the first annual LifeTime Achievement Award from Life Time Television. Women's E-News in 2004 selected Tillie as one of the "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" award. In addition, in 2005 she received an award from NOW.

Tillie and colleague Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D. completed a poster series on Lakota elders on each of the nine Dakota/Lakota nations in South Dakota titled "Lakota Women as Keepers of the Nation."

Tillie held a Master of the Arts from the University of South Dakota, a Bachelor of Science from the Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD and she served on the St. Francis Indian School Board of Directors, St. Francis, SD, and Sinte Gleska University Board of Regents, Mission, SD.

Tillie is the mother of three daughters and thirteen grandchildren. She is survived by her loving family and a huge "family" of colleagues, friends, admirers and grateful survivors of domestic violence who will be forever grateful for all that she has given to survivors and the grassroots movement to end violence against women and children.

Many of us who have attended NCADV conferences for years will never forget Tillie's moving presentations and her opening ceremonies honoring Native women as we worked together to build a grassroots movement and collective of  activists who are intent on ending violence against women.

Tillie has been a leader, an inspiration, a teacher,  a mother, and in many ways part of the soul of our movement.

Tillie, you will be sorely missed, continue to be loved and remembered for as long as NCADV leads grassroots activists in our work.

Rest in peace dear sister-mother-friend-icon. We love you.

The Board and Staff of NCADV

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