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Hartley Frank White Sr.

Hartley Frank White Sr. "Shaawanaasii" (Walks in the South), 84, of Longville, Minn., died Wednesday, May 5, 2009, at the Cass Lake Indian Health Service Hospital.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cass Lake with Steve Jackson officiating. Visitation began at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Veterans Memorial building and will continue until the time of service Saturday. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Federal Dam, Minn.

Dennis Funeral Home of Longville and Cass Lake is handling funeral arrangements.

He was born Feb. 10, 1925, to Henry Lego and Lettie White Morrow in Onigum, Minn. 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. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served from 1943 to 1947 in the Asiatic Pacific, Philippine Liberation and the American Theater. He received a World War II Victory medal. He married Lillian Paper in 1947. They lived in the Federal Dam area before moving to the twin cities where he worked as a bricklayer and where they raised their family. 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. He 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 1970s 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, he was elected Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Chairman and remained in that position until he retired in 1988. He was an honest, persuasive and respected leader and worked tirelessly as an advocate for all Anishinabe, lobbying at high levels of government to obtain funding for education, housing, and health. He was one of the last to speak the Ojibwe language fluently, and lived as a warrior in the true Anishinabe Way. He lived that out by his passion for hunting, ricing, netting, fishing and just being outdoors. His had a sense of humor and storytelling ability. During his retirement years, he enjoyed attending powwows where he loved to sing the old traditional songs on the drum. Spending time with his family was also very important to him. He was a resident at Golden Living Center in Walker for the last few months. He is known for helping to revive the culture and language on the Leech Lake Reservation.

He is survived by his son, Hartley (Diane) White Jr., daughters, Rachel (Wally) Stangel, Linda Morris, Donna (Duane) Conger, Peggy (Robert) White, Shirley White and Jean Howard; 29 grandchildren, 62 great-grandchildren, 22 great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Max (Chief) Morrow, Lavern Morrow and Jack Morrow; sisters, Barb Shipley, Lettie Morrow, Janice Brown and Leona Shaug-o-be; and numerous nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son Joseph White; three grandchildren; brother, Art Morrow; and sister, Darlene Sanders.