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Longtime Winnebago activist, Frank LaMere, dies at age 69

(KTIV) – Frank LaMere, a longtime activist known for his decades of work among Native Americans has died.

According to Indianz.com, LaMere passed away June 16.

He was recently diagnosed with bile duct cancer and had undergone surgery earlier this month.

His son, Manape LaMere issued this statement: “At 7:31 p.m., June 16th, 2019. Our father Frank LaMere crossed over to the other side of this river of Life. We’ll make preparations for his journey in the coming days.”

LaMere recently received an honorary degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in May for his work to shut down the beer stores in Whiteclay.

Frank White, chairman of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, issued a statement about LaMere’s death. He wrote in part: “Frank could be found lending his voice to any issue involving the diminishment of rights of Native American people. His most recent and well-publicized fights for justice were with his successful campaign to end beer sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska, which was lending itself to the rampant alcoholism with nearby Indian reservations…If there was injustice anywhere in Indian Country Frank LaMere likely had a voice in demanding better treatment and injustice. The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, as well as Indian Country in general, has lost one of their staunchest advocates with his passing.”

LaMere was 69 years old.

Lamere not only left an impact on the community.

Those who were close to LaMere say he had a tremendous heart and a passion for people.

Daniel Bear-Shield, a family friend of LaMere, says, Lamere was ‘our Martin Luther King. He served our community well and made our community a better place.’

“I’m going to miss him. When I saw Sunday night that he had passed, I was saddened. He’s just been a great community leader. Not only for the Native Americans, but for the community as a whole,” said Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew.

Drew also says not only would Lamere be missed because he was such an asset to the community, but he was also a kind and caring person.

KTIV Staff

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