Nancy O. Lurie, an esteemed anthropologist and advocate of indigenous North America, passed away this May 13, 2017 at the age of 93.
- One of the PWNHC’s first virtual exhibits was based on her 1962 recordings of the Dogrib (Tlı̨chǫ) Tea Dance in partnership with other legendary anthropologist June Helm.
Nancy (Oestreich) Lurie Ph.D. Anthropologist, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin January 29, 1924, only child of Carl and Rayline (nee Danielson) Oestreich; passed away peacefully May 13, 2017.
She received her B.A from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1945), graduated with an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago (1947) and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University (1952). There she met her husband, historian Edward Lurie in 1951 and divorced amicably 1963. She taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Michigan and University of Aarhus, Denmark as a visiting scholar with a Fulbright-Hay Lectureship in Anthropology.
She served as expert witness for more than half a dozen Indian tribes in cases before the U.S. Indian Claims Commission. From 1972 until retirement in 1993 was curator and department head of Anthropology at the Milwaukee Public Museum, and continued to serve as a volunteer until 2015. Known for research and publications on American Indian history and culture including contemporary adaptations, particularly regarding the Ho-Chunk (aka Winnebago), the Dogrib (Tlicho; located in Canadian sub-arctic), and other intertribal urban Indian groups.
Other publications concern Action Anthropology as a resource in community self-help efforts, and the history, functions, and methods of museums. She was active in professional anthropological organizations, including President of the American Anthropological Association, 1983-1985. Nancy will be missed by hundreds of people around the world whose lives were impacted by her teachings, writings, and very presence for the past 93 years.