Sunday, July 04, 2004

La Flesche Family

Margarite La Flesche’s father was Frank La Flesche, his father was Cary LaFlesche, his father was Joseph La Fleshe, Jr., or Iron Eyes his father was Joseph La Fleshe (1822-1889) who was a french fur trader from Canada. Joseph La Flesche Jr or (IstaMaza - Iron Eyes), who was the last hereditary Chief of the UMONHON (Omaha) under the age-old rites and rituals, was the adopted son of Big Elk who gave him that right as Chief of the Omaha's. Cary’s sister was Dr. Susan La Fleshe who was the first Indian woman to become a physican, another sister Suzette LaFleshe (Bright Eyes) served as an interpreter and teacher for the Omaha, she wrote several books that were published as well.. Cary's older brother was Dr. Francis LaFleshe was educated in the East who later wrote several books, one book was the 27th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1905, another was called the "Middle Five" life at a mission boarding school. The Omaha never waged war against the U.S., Iron Eyes was considered a progressive by many in the tribe. As Chief of the Omahas Iron Eyes wanted them to adopt the ways of the white man and encouraged them to educate their children in the dominant society's ways sending his own kids to schools in the east. He was quoted as saying "I have been to where the white man lives and at night the lights where they live, they are as many as the stars in the sky. They are coming this way like a flood and there is no stopping it. We must learn and adapt if we are to survive as a people." One of the most notable things he accomplished while he was the Omaha chief was that he banned the use and trading of any and all alcohol, for several decades this law was obeyed and anyone who violated it was whipped.
Note: My mother is Margarite La Flesche she is the Great Grand Daughter of Iron Eyes a Chief of the Omaha's. She had two other children that I know of, I am the youngest My sister is Christine Springer who married Frank Sansoci over twenty years ago they have one daughter Teresa Sonsoci she has two daughters. My older brothers name is Leland La Flesche, he was a Springer as well but took his mothers last name Both of them were raised by their grandmothers as well.