Remembering and Honoring a Prolific Genius, Hank Adams

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January 13, 2021
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Poster of Hank Adams and President Obama Shaking Hands and Treaty of Medicine Creek 1854

We lost an icon and protector of our communities recently, Henry “Hank” Lyle Adams, Assiniboine-Sioux. Hank Adams was a brilliant activist. We were lucky to be graced with his wisdom and the gifts of the posters he left us.

"A news release from the National Indian Fisheries reported the news: It is with a heavy heart that the family and close friends of Hank Adams announce his passing this Solstice Day, December 21, 2020 at St. Peter’s hospital in Olympia, Wash. Henry “Hank” Lyle Adams, Assiniboine-Sioux, was 77. He was born in Wolf Point, Montana. Hank Adams was prolific. In every sense of the word. He was the genius who disappeared into stacks of documents and then reported the specific language defending a treaty or to build a case for justice. He then outlined a strategy to bring that research home in order to make the world better for Native Americans. He was called “the most important Indian” by Vine Deloria, Jr., because Adams was involved with nearly every major event in American Indian history from the 1960s forward." -  Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today: Hank Adams: Indian Country’s prolific genius

Hank Adams and Willie Frank III spoke to an MPA Tribal Core Class in April, 2019. Hank spoke with the tribal governance students about the importance of critical thinking and becoming our own experts. After the talk, Hank gifted the MPA program with 4 posters, replicas of the posters that are placed at the newly renamed Billy Frank Jr. park and trail at the Port of Olympia. 1 of these posters is featured here as the article image.