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Bernie Whitebear

Bernie Whitebear

Indian Activst
Born Sep 27, 1937

Bernie Whitebear, birth name Bernard Reyes, was an American Indian activist, a co-founder of the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, and the Daybreak Star Cultural Center.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Bernie Whitebear.


1937 Birth Born on September 27, 1937.
1939 1 Year Old His early childhood was a spent largely on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington. His parents separated in 1939 and subsequently divorced; his mother would later re-marry to Harry Wong, with whom she and Julian Reyes had, in 1935–1937, run a Chinese restaurant during the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.
1940 2 Years Old While his older brother Lawney Reyes and sister Luana Reyes attended the Chemawa Indian School in 1940–1942, he was too young to do so, and lived with foster grandparents, the Halls.


1955 17 Years Old The rest of his childhood and youth was spent living with his father, variously on the Colville Reservation and in Okanogan, Washington, where he graduated from high school in 1955. … Read More
1957 19 Years Old In September 1957 he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served first in the 101st Airborne Division as a Green Beret paratrooper.


1959 21 Years Old After leaving the army in 1959 and returning to the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State, he took a job at Boeing and remained in the Army Reserve. … Read More
1961 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In the summer of 1961, along with his various family members, he was among those who successfully opposed a federal government proposal to "terminate" the Colville Reservation by paying US$60,000 to each tribal member to relinquish their rights as American Indians.


1977 39 Years Old …  His brother Lawney Reyes — a sculptor, designer, curator, and later memoirist (as well as his biographer: Bernie Whitebear: An Urban Indian's Quest for Justice, 2006) — joined with architects Arai Jackson to design the facility, which opened in 1977. … Read More


1995 57 Years Old In the same era when Daybreak Star was being constructed, Whitebear served on the Seattle Arts Commission. In 1995, he was appointed to the board of the National Museum of the American Indian, and was involved in the planning for the museum that opened September 21, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. … Read More


2000 63 Years Old Whitebear died of colon cancer, July 16, 2000. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Whitebear.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.