Inductees in Native Americans

  1. Miantonomi and Canonicus (Satchems)

    Miantonomi and Canonicus (Satchems)

    Inducted in 1997

    Canonicus and Miantonomi were Sachems of the Narragansett tribe who obtained their dominance through persuasion rather than violence. They allowed Roger Williams to establish Providence on their tribal lands. Read more >

  2. Christiana Carteaux Bannister

    Christiana Carteaux Bannister

    Inducted in 2003

    Bannister, Christiana Carteaux, 1822-1903

    Christiana Carteaux Bannister was born Christiana Babcock in Rhode Island's South County sometime between 1820 and 1822. Details concerning her birth and background are obscure, but she appears to have been of mixed native American and African-American parentage and was undoubtedly descended from slaves that worked the plantations of South County during the eighteenth century.

    As a young woman she moved to Boston and took up the trade of hairdressing. During her twenty-five year residence in Massachusetts she owned salons both in Boston and Worcester and prospered as an independent businesswoman and self-styled “hair doctress. Read more >

  3. Ellison M. "Tarzan" Brown

    Inducted in 1968

    Tarzan Brown, a Native American from the Narragansett tribe, came from the south county village of Alton. He became a world-class marathoner in the 1930's. After a disappointing performance in the 1936 Olympics, Brown entered seven marathon races in close succession and won them all. Two of these races were won within twenty-four hours of each other. Read more >
  4. Metacomet Massasoit

    Metacomet Massasoit (1639-1676)

    Inducted in 1997

    Massasoit Metacomet, 1639-1676, was also known as King Phillip. He was the Sachem of all Sachems from the Royal House of the Pokanokets of the Wampanoags. A native patriot who tried to preserve his own civilization and his people's autonomy in the face of overwhelming odds. He died during the King Phillip War on the 12th of August, 1676. Read more >

  5. Chief (Ousamequin) Massasoit

    Chief (Ousamequin) Massasoit (1581-1661)

    Inducted in 2007

    Chief Massasoit, also known as Ousamequin, (ca. 1581- 1661) was born in present-day Rhode Island. As chief sachem of the Wampanoag nation, he befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, taught them farming methods, and joined with them in a 1621 thanksgiving feast. He was a cordial host to the original Pilgrim settlers and sheltered Roger Williams during his winter exile in 1636. Read more >

  6. Princess Red Wing (1896-1987)

    Inducted in 1978

    Princess Red Wing, 1896-1987, was a Narragansett and Wampanoag Native American. She was the founder and curator of the Tomquag Native Memorial Museum at Arcadia Village in Exeter. She represented her tribe in a presentation to the United Nations. Read more >

  7. Michel S. Van Leesten

    Inducted in 2001

    MICHAEL S. VAN LEESTEN, of Providence, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is the former director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence, former director of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rhode Island, former chairman of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, and a prominent real estate developer. He has held leadership positions in the NAACP, Urban League, the Black Repertory Company, and the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. As a youth, Mike was a star schoolboy and college athlete, excelling in basketball. Read more >



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