Suzan Shown Harjo

Born:June 2, 1945 (age 78)

Susan Shown Harjo is an Indigenous writer and policy advocate. She is the president of The Morning Star Institute and a columnist at Indian Country Today. In 2014, Harjo was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor by Barack Obama.

Harjo was born on June 2, 1945, in El Reno, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Cheyenne and Hudulgee Muscogee Nations. She received an honorary doctorate in humanities in 2011 from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

From 1976-1979, Harjo served as a special assistant for Indian legislation and liaison for the Carter Administration. In 1984, Harjo was appointed as the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. In addition to holding these political leadership positions, Harjo also worked on the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978), the National Museum of the American Indian Act (1989), and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990).

American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2021. "Ms. Suzan Shown Harjo." American Academy of Arts and Sciences, December.

Harjo, Shown Suzan. (n.d.). "Suzan Shown Harjo." Linkedin.

Wikipedia. 2021. "Suzan Shown Harjo." Wikipedia, October 31.

Photo Credit: Lucy Fowler Williams