Hartley Frank White, Sr. “Shaawanaasii” (Walks in the South), 84, of Longville, MN died May 5, 2009 at the Cass Lake Indian Hospital. He was born February 10, 1925 in Onigum, MN to Henry Lego and Lettie White Morrow. He grew up in Battle Point as part of the Eagle Clan and was raised by his grandparents, George and Jenny White. He attended school in Federal Dam. After school Hartley enlisted in the Navy and served from 1943 to 1947. He received a World War II Victory medal. He married Lillian Paper in 1947 and they lived in the Federal Dam area before moving to the Twin Cities where he worked as a bricklayer. During this time he was instrumental in starting the Indian Neighborhood Club of Minneapolis which promoted sobriety among the Native American population.
In 1971 he returned to the Leech Lake Reservation and worked as a
Conservation Officer, then became director of the Teen Center in Cass
Lake working with Leech Lake youth. He supported the walk-out at Cass
Lake High School in the early 1970’s which lead to the creation of the
first Bug-o-nay-ge-shig School. He then worked for funding which
enabled the school to be built at its present site, and was also a
member of the school board for four years. In 1974 Hartley was elected
as Tribal Chairman and remained in that position until he retired in
1988. He worked as an advocate for all Anishinabe, lobbying at high
levels of government to obtain funding for education, housing, and
health. He enjoyed hunting, ricing, netting, fishing and being
outdoors. During his retirement years he enjoyed attending pow-wows
where he loved to sing the old traditional songs on the drum.
Hartley is survived by his son Hartley (Diane) White, Jr., six
daughters; Rachel (Wally) Stangel, Linda Morris, Donna (Duane) Conger,
Peggy (Robert) White, Shirley White, Jean Howard; and 29 grandchildren,
62 great-grandchildren, 22 great great grandchildren; and three
brothers; Max (Chief) Morrow, Lavern Morrow, Jack Morrow; and four
sisters; Barb Shipley, Lettie Morrow, Janice Brown, Leona Shaug-o-be.
And numerous nieces ,nephews, sister and brother-in-laws. He was
preceded in death by his parents, wife Lillian, son Joseph White, three
grandchildren; Connie White, Arnold Wade, Michael Howard, Jr., brother,
Art Morrow, and sister, Darlene Sanders.
Funeral services were held May 9 at the Veterans Memorial Building in
Cass Lake. Visitation was May 7 at the Veterans Memorial building.
Interment was at Fairview Cemetery, Federal Dam, MN.