Native American Heritage Month Spotlight Dewey Sampson Sr.


This month, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we will be highlighting some of the many remarkable contributors to Indian country. In no way is this list comprehensive or extensive. For the next few weeks we will present a brief biography a day.

Dewey Sampson Sr. (1898-1982) was a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe.

Dewey is remembered as the first American Indian to serve on the Nevada State legislator (1938-40) and his contribution to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe constitution.

Dewey was an exceptional athlete who excelled in football, track baseball, and basketball. Rather than go into sports, Dewey worked hard ensure this people’s rights. Fluent in both English and Paiute, Sampson worked as a translator for his people who often did not understand official documents. During his work in the legislator, Dewey fought for equal rights for American Indians by helping to eliminate many of the state’s anti-Indian laws and codes. His hard work and dedication as a legislator were instrumental in bringing Native issues to the forefront of Nevada’s government and its general population.

Follow us on Facebook as we continue to spotlight remarkable contributors to Indian Country, and please let us know which Native Americans have shaped your community or positively impacted the great State of Nevada.