Today, We Celebrate Sarah Winnemucca Day

Under former Governor Brian Sandoval, October 16 has been proclaimed as Sarah Winnemucca day. It is believed that she was born on or around October 16, 1844.

Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) was one of the most influential and charismatic American Indian women in her time. Born near the Humboldt River Sink to a family of Paiute leaders, Sarah dedicated much of her life to working on behalf of all Native people. Sarah brought the Paiute cause to secretaries of the Interior, army officers, legislators, and senators. She testified before Congress. Sarah appealed to public opinion through interviews, newspaper statements and her many impassioned lectures in theaters, churches, and parlors on both coasts severely criticizing the reservation system Sarah Winnemucca was the first Native American woman to write a book, Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, in 1883.

In 1885 Sarah started an American Indian School near Lovelock, Nevada. In 2005, a statue of Sarah Winnemucca, representing Nevada, was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol Statuary Hall, Washington D. C. Closer to home, a statue of Sarah can be viewed at the Governor’s office in Carson City