Ingrid Washinawatok el-Issa 1957-1999

Curriculum: Working Toward Peace


Ingrid Washinawatok el-Issa (Flying Eagle Woman) was born in 1957 into the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin. El-Issa lived a life on behalf of others. She worked with multiple organizations, nationally, and internationally to foster indigenous culture, advocate for women's rights, and promote native-American issues. She is known for her influence as the Chair of the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, and worked with many organizations to promote indigenous people's cultures and rights. As executive director of the Fund for Four Directions in New York City, she worked in particular to revitalize indigenous languages. Washinawatok was one of three Americans kidnapped and executed in the remote highlands of Colombia by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, while on a mission to help the U'wa tribe set up a school system in February 1999.