Veda W. Stone American Indian Reference Collection, 1940-1995

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Summary Information

Title: Veda W. Stone American Indian Reference Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1995
Creator: Stone, Veda W., 1906-1996
Call Number: 
Eau Claire Mss AP; Eau Claire Micro 11; Eau Claire Tape 1; Micro 723; Audio 735A; River Falls Mss BL; M95-296; M95-316; M96-062
30.8 c.f. (69 archives boxes and 1 flat box), 7 reels of microfilm (35 mm), and 4 tape recordings (Located in Madison); plus additions of 333 photographs and 7 tape recordings (Located in Madison)
This collection is managed jointly by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division, the Eau Claire Area Research Center, and the River Falls Area Research Center.
Archival Locations: 
UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr. UW-River Falls, Chalmer Davee Library / River Falls Area Research Ctr.  Wisconsin Historical Society
A reference collection of Veda Stone, a social worker long active in American Indian affairs, education, and family health and children's services in Wisconsin, documenting Stone's work with government agencies, organizations, and conferences concerning Indians. Also present are records, including individual student files, dealing with Indian education in Wisconsin and other states. Microfilmed newsletters, periodicals, and nearprint documents published in the U.S. and Canada by or about Indian groups and organizations are also present, together with a major reference file with emphasis on Menominee and Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin and tribal groups in Minnesota. The tapes record speeches and panel discussions from a 1966 Indian leadership conference.
There is a restriction on access to this material; see the Administrative/Restriction Information portion of this finding aid for details.
Language: English

Search Terms

Subject Terms

o Education—Wisconsin
o Indians of North America—Education
o Indians of North America—Medical Care
o Indians of North America—Minnesota
o Indians of North America—Periodicals
o Indians of North America—Wisconsin
o Medical care—Wisconsin
o Menominee Indians
o Ojibwa Indians
o Social work


Veda Wright Stone was active in Indian education and affairs and in promoting the welfare of children and youth for much of her life. Mrs. Stone was born August 14, 1906 in the Town of Eagle, Richland County, Wisconsin to Ralph and Allie Mae (Ewing) Wright. In 1929 she married William Stone; they had one daughter, Sandra (Mrs. John A. McFarland). Mrs. Stone was educated at Barron County Normal School (1921-1923), Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire (B.S.-1946), and University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.S.-1956). She taught school for eight years in Rice Lake, Turtle Lake, and Madison, prior to serving as social worker, director and supervisor of children's services for the Eau Claire County Children's Agency (1946-1958). From 1958 to 1970, Mrs. Stone was community services consultant and chief of community planning and development for a sixteen-county area in northwestern Wisconsin, for the Eau Claire regional office, Division for Children and Youth, Dept. of Public Welfare (after reorganization in 1968-1970 known as Division of Family Services, Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services). In that capacity, she became aware of the problems and special needs - especially educational - of Wisconsin Indians. After her “retirement” in 1970, she  devoted herself exclusively to the education and welfare of Wisconsin Indians, particularly through recruiting and assisting young people to acquire college or vocational training, and by encouraging Indian adults to actively direct the education of their children. Under the auspices of the Wisconsin Demonstration in Indian Educational Opportunity (WDIEO), headquartered at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, young Indians throughout the state received scholarships and financial aid; educational counseling; and assistance in finding employment, housing, and transportation. Mrs. Stone also served as director of the Indian education program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In 1974, she moved to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to develop an American Indian education program at that institution. Four years later Mrs. Stone “retired” once again, and then served as coordinator of special projects for the American Indian program (which she founded) at Mount Senario College, Ladysmith, Wisconsin.

Mrs. Stone was also involved in other organizations and activities, among them, the Eau Claire County Mental Health Association, as president (1954) and member of the board of directors (1952-1961); Governor's Committee on Children and Youth (19501958); board of directors, Wisconsin Welfare Council (1955-1961); and Eau Claire Coordinating Council (1946-1970). She initiated the Eau Claire County Youth Council in 1951 and also the ten year “Eau Claire County Youth Study” to research the behavior of children, 1961-1971. Mrs. Stone's interest in American Indians manifested itself in her membership in, and work with, the following groups: National Advisory Committee on Indian Work for the U.S. Episcopal Church (1962-1967); co-founder of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) in 1961, and its successor, Community Action Program (CAP); co-founder of the Wisconsin Indian Youth Council (1962); and work with the Harvard-Radcliffe Indian Project for student volunteers on Wisconsin Indian reservations (1962). Between 1963 and 1965, she initiated and ran the “Wisconsin Indian Summer Project,” a forerunner of the VISTA program, and also initiated the Wisconsin Indian Youth Seminar (succeeded by Upward Bound) to allow Indian high school graduates to live for two weeks on college campuses as preparation for college. Mrs. Stone served on the selections committee of United Scholarship Services, Inc., 1963-1964, and initiated the Wisconsin Indian Leadership Conference in 1963. She held positions on the education and ways and means committee of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc., and its Wisconsin branch. One of Mrs. Stone's greatest honors was her adoption by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians at St. Mary's Mission, Odanah, Wisconsin, on September 2, 1961. She was given the Indian name “Be ni she o gi she go aui,” or “Thunderbird Sky Woman.” In 1974 she received an honorary Ph.D. degree from Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, in recognition of her many years of public service. She died in 1996.

Arrangement of the Materials

This collection was received in multiple parts from the donor(s) and is organized into 5 major parts. These materials have not been physically interfiled and researchers might need to consult more than one part to locate similar materials.

Administrative/Restriction Information

Access Restrictions

Student records in the collection are restricted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Use of these records requires permission from the reference archivist.

Acquisition Information

Original Collection presented by Veda W. Stone, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1971 and 1978. Accession Number: M72-088, M78-504, M81-495, M85-323, M91-107, M95-296, M95316, M96-062, M96-234

Processing Information

Original Collection processed by Menzi Behrnd and David Tambo, February 1979. Eau Claire Mss AP Additions processed by Tammy L. Tucker, December 2006.