Ensuring Sarah Winnemucca has her day at Capitol in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Ensuring Sarah Winnemucca has her day at Capitol in Carson City

Dianna Maria de Borges at the Sarah Winnemucca statue in the Nevada Capitol.
Geoff Dornan/Nevada Appeal

Oct. 16 is Sarah Winnemucca Day, as declared by former Gov. Brian Sandoval on what is believed to be her birth date.

To honor her, Dianna Maria de Borges, who for years has played the Paiute princess in Chautauqua assemblies, placed flowers at the feet of her statue in the Nevada Capitol.

She said Winnemucca, who is believed to have been born in 1844, was the first Native American woman to write a book.

“The reason she wrote the book was to show we are not different,” de Borges said.

An educator and defender of Native Americans, she traveled widely across the U.S. and Canada, speaking at hundreds of gatherings to humanize Native Americans. She even addressed the Nevada Legislature.

“She knew she couldn’t change the government but she could change the minds of the people,” she said.

She continued speaking and defending the rights of Native Americans until her death in 1891.

“Sarah should have her day,” she said.