Native American Women's History Quiz

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

This celebration of American Indian and Alaska Native heritage in November has roots in efforts at the turn of the 20th century to recognize the significant contributions the first Americans made to the growth and establishment of the United States. This month, while recognizing the continuing contributions Native Americans make to our country, we also celebrate the traditions and way of life that is such an important part of our history and culture. Starting as a day of recognition in 1916 in some states, then becoming Native Awareness Week in 1976, the celebration expanded to a month in 1990 and has been signified by Presidential Proclamation every November since 1994.
There were somewhere between 7 and 11 million indigenous people living in what became the United States prior to European contact. These people belonged to hundreds of diverse nations and tribes. Their systems of government, their language, their economies, their social customs and their traditions were often extremely different from one another. This quiz presents information on women from a variety of nations and historical periods.
Weetamoo (1635? -1676) Wampanoag Pocasset – Rhode Island
1. She mobilized and led her people to fight the encroachment of European colonist during King Phillips War. Weetamoo also:
a. Was daughter-in-law of Chief Massasoit who sat with the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
b. Imprisoned Mary Rowlandson, whose captivity story became the most read book of the times.
c. Interacted with the British and adopted some of their customs.

All of the above


Annie Dodge Wauneka (1910-1997) Navajo - Arizona
2.  She was one of the great Navajo leaders who dedicated her life to help her people overcome the health problems that plagued the Navajo in the twentieth century. She won many awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She educated her people about the prevention and treatment of diseases, the most prevalent and deadly disease being:
a. Cancer
b. Tuberculosis
c. Influenza
d. Emphysema
Maria Tallchief (b. 1925) Osage - Oklahoma
3. One of the most high-profile Indian women of the twentieth century, she was also the first American dancer in the history of ballet to achieve international fame. She was catapulted to international star status with her title role performance in:
a. The Temperaments (1946)
b. Orpheus (1948)
c. Romeo and Juliet (1950)
d. Firebird (1949)
Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) Northern Paiute - western Nevada
4. One of the most famous Indian women of the nineteenth century, she was renowned advocate for peace and justice. What other statement about Sarah is true?
a. She rescued her family from captivity by a warring tribe.
b. She met with President Hayes to ask that the government keep its promise of the Paiute returning to their own reservation.
c. She wrote “Life among the Paiutes”, the first known autobiography written by a Native American woman.
d. All of the above.
Maria Montoya Martinez (1887 - 1980) San Ildefonso Pueblo - New Mexico
5. Her success as an artist ushered in the modern Native American arts industry that today brings monies and honor to Indians from nations and tribes throughout the country. She was a:
a. Muralist
b. Potter
c. Basket weaver
d. None of the above
Ada Deer (b.1935) Menominee - Wisconsin
6. To ensure the survival of the Menominee who had lived in this area of Wisconsin for 5,000 years, in 1970 she led the drive to end the US government's policy of termination. Termination included:
a. Closing Indian hospital and schools.
b. Collecting income tax, which earlier treaties had prohibited.
c. Tribal government selling tribal homelands
d. All of the above
Essie Parrish (1903-1979 Kashaya Pomo – Northern California
7. Essie Parrish, a renowned Pomo spiritual healer, was dedicated to teaching the children of her tribe their native language and customs. During her lifetime:
a. She was acknowledged as her people’s “dreamer” at age 6 and had a great ability to prophesy and interpret dreams.
b. She worked with acclaimed social scientists to make over 20 anthropological films documenting Pomo culture and ceremonies.
c. She presented Robert Kennedy with a treasured hand-woven basket when he visited the Kashaya reservation to investigate conditions in Indian schools
d. All of the above


1. a. All of the above
2. b. Tuberculosis
3. d. Firebird (1949)
4. d. All of the above
5. b. Potter
6. d. All of the above
7. d. All of the above


Quiz compiled by: National Women's History Project