Sarah Deer

A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Sarah Deer is a legal scholar, a university professor, and an engaged activist for
indigenous women. Ending violence against women is Deer’s life’s goal. A lawyer by training but an advocate in practice, her scholarship
focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights, using indigenous feminist principles as a framework.

Deer is a co-author of four textbooks on tribal law and has been published in a wide variety of law journals. Her 2015 book, The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America, is the culmination of over 25 years of experience working with survivors, and has received several awards, including the Best First Book award from the Native American Indigenous Studies Association.

Deer has testified before Congress on two occasions regarding violence against Native women and was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to chair a federal advisory committee on sexual violence in Indian country. Her work to end violence against Native women has received national recognition from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice, and she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2014.

Deer currently teaches at the University of Kansas (her alma mater), where she holds a joint appointment in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Deer is also the Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.

Year Honored: 2019
Birth: 1972 -
Achievements: Education, Government