Frank LaMere, a longtime activist who advocated for Native American, died on Sunday evening (June 16) after a brief battle with cancer, the Nebraska Democratic Party (NDP) announced in a statement yesterday (June 17).
As a member of the Winnebago Nation of Nebraska and the first associate chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, LaMere made it his life’s mission to fight for those who most needed it. That included standing up for Indigenous children and working with the American Indian Movement to prevent alcohol sales near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His criticism of police violence in the Omaha Police Department focused a national spotlight on the 2017 death of Zachary BearHeels, a mentally ill Native American man who was repeatedly punched and Tasered by officers. LaMere served on the Democratic National Committee from 1996 to 2009 and was honored with a doctor of laws degree by Nebraska Wesleyan University for his legacy of championing social justice.
“We’ll celebrate their lives as bear clan does,” tweeted Manape, who also lost his uncle, Curt St. Cyr. “Pinagigi to everyone that’s supported my father’s battle.” Funeral services will take place tomorrow morning (June 19) at the St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, the Sioux City Journal reports.