Ruth Muskrat Bronson 1925

  • Cherokee poet, educator and indigenous rights activist
Ruth Muskrat Bronson, class of 1925

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Ruth Muskrat Bronson 1925 (October 3, 1897 to June 12, 1982) was a Cherokee poet, educator and indigenous rights activist. After completing her education, Bronson became the first guidance and placement officer of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She served as executive secretary for the National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, and created its legislative news service.

While she was a student, she educated the local community and even national leaders on Native American affairs. In fact, while most students were making plans for the winter recess in December 1923, Bronson was contemplating how she should greet President Calvin Coolidge.

She had been invited to the White House as part of the Committee of One Hundred, a group designed to advise on Native American policy. Bronson was representing Native American students. For the occasion, she intentionally wore ceremonial Native American regalia that included a white buckskin dress, beaded moccasins, a headband, and a leather belt with large silver medallions — all of which had been made by Cheyenne and Apache women.

Class year: 1925 
Major: English