Photo: Maria Hinton

Maria Hinton

Grad year: ’79
Major: Communication and the Arts
Award Year: 2012

Maria Hinton

At 101 years of age, the revered Tribal Elder, Maria Hinton, remains an active force in preserving Oneida stories, language and culture. As one of Wisconsin's last surviving native speakers, her work is critical to the Oneida preserve-the-language movement. She helped found the tribe’s Turtle Elementary School and taught there for two decades, well into her 90s. She and Prof. Cliff Abbott completed their invaluable recording of a spoken-word dictionary of Oneida a few years ago, and in 2009 the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian presented its first NMAI Prism Award to Hinton in recognition of her lifelong work in preservation.

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