2019 – ADVOCACY
(1910-1982) Lucy Covington was a prominent tribal leader and political activist throughout her life. During the Termination Era in the 1950s, when the Colville Tribes were threatened with a termination bill and a certain loss of tribal land, Lucy fought the effort. Despite other tribal council members favoring termination, Lucy went to great lengths to protect their lands, even traveling repeatedly to Washington, D.C., to gain support and to lobby against the bill.
Lucy continued to advocate against termination until 1971. She remained committed to protecting tribal rights and resources, developing tribal services, governing the reservation for the benefit of tribal citizens, and promoting inter-tribal cooperation. Lucy was a shining example of Native self-determination in action and was, indeed, a founder of that movement. Her work along with other civil rights leaders of the time, ushered in a shift of U.S. policy from termination to independence and autonomy.