Sarah Deer
Sarah Deer in 2016
Born (1972-11-09) November 9, 1972 (age 51)
CitizenshipMuscogee (Creek) Nation[1]
Alma materUniversity of Kansas
Occupation(s)Professor of Public Affairs and Administration and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Known forTribal Law and Order Act of 2010
AwardsMacArthur fellow

Sarah Deer (born November 9, 1972[2]) is a Native American (Muscogee (Creek) Nation[1]) lawyer, and a professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies and Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas.[3] She was a 2014 MacArthur fellow and has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[1][4][5]

Deer advocates on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, primarily in Native American communities.[4] She has been credited for her "instrumental role" in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act,[6] as well as for testimony which is credited with the 2010 passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.[7] Deer coauthored, with Bonnie Claremont, Amnesty International's 2007 report Maze of Injustice, documenting sexual assault against Native American women.[8] She is also Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.[9]

Deer advocates for feminist, queer, and trans politics in Indigenous communities.[10] She is most acknowledged for her activism to stop violence against Native American women. She has received national awards from the Department of Justice and the American Bar Association for her accomplishments.[11]

Deer received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Kansas.[12]




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  1. ^ a b c Hardzinkski, Brian (September 17, 2014). "Muscogee (Creek) Citizen Sarah Deer Among MacArthur 'Genius Grant' Recipients". KGOU. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Sarah Deer". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Sarah Deer". 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Sarah Deer, professor at William Mitchell College of Law, wins $625,000 'genius grant'". Star Tribune. September 17, 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  5. ^ National Women's Hall of Fame, Sarah Deer
  6. ^ "MacArthur 'genius grant' winner welcomes boost to work on Native American sexual assault and domestic violence". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  7. ^ Pember, Mary Annette (January 6, 2011). "Judicial Activist". Diverse. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  8. ^ Smith, Andrea (2008-03-11). Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances. Duke University Press. pp. 37–. ISBN 9780822388876. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Sarah Deer – Legal Scholar and Advocate". Retrieved 2023-03-07.
  10. ^ Deer, Sarah; Byrd, Jodi A.; Mitra, Durba; Haley, Sarah (2021-06-01). "Rage, Indigenous Feminisms, and the Politics of Survival". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 46 (4): 1057–1071. doi:10.1086/713294. ISSN 0097-9740. S2CID 235304949.
  11. ^ "Sarah Deer". Retrieved 2023-03-07.
  12. ^ "Sarah Deer". William Mitchell College of Law. Retrieved 18 September 2014.