Who is Barbara May Cameron? Everything About The Indigenous

Who is Barbara May Cameron? Everything About The Indigenous

Doodle honoring Barbara May Cameron, a remarkable figure in human rights activism. Google regularly pays tribute to different individuals, groups, or holidays by featuring illustrations above the search bar, and currently, the spotlight is on Barbara, depicted holding an LGBTQIA+ flag.

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The Doodle marks the celebration of Barbara May Cameron’s 69th birth anniversary. She was a Native American photographer, poet, writer, and a fervent advocate for various human rights causes, including lesbian/gay rights and women’s rights. Known for her powerful writings and speeches, Barbara’s legacy is fondly remembered.

The artistic tribute was crafted by Sienna Gonzales, a talented LGBT Mexican and Chitimachan artist, who created this heartfelt artwork in honor of Barbara’s special day.

Who is Barbara May Cameron?

Barbara May Cameron, born on May 22, 1954, was a Hunkpapa Lakota from the Fort Yates band of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Her Lakota name, Wia Washte Wi, translated to ‘woman or a good woman.’ After completing her early education, she pursued studies in photography and film at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Barbara May Cameron was a distinguished Native American photographer, poet, writer, and an ardent advocate for human rights, particularly in the realms of lesbian/gay rights, women’s rights, and Native American rights. Her impactful contributions spanned various social justice causes.

Barbara May Cameron Early life

Barbara May Cameron’s early life began on May 22, 1954. She hailed from the Hunkpapa Lakota tribe, belonging to the Fort Yates band of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates, North Dakota. Her upbringing took place on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where she was raised by her grandparents.

She completed her primary and high school education within the reservation’s confines before pursuing her passion for photography and film at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1973, she made the move to San Francisco to enroll at the San Francisco Art Institute.

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Personal life

In her personal life, Cameron shared a meaningful 21-year partnership with Linda Boyd, together raising a son named Rhys Boyd-Farrell. As a testament to her significance within the Lesbian and Gay community, a portrait of Cameron was immortalized by Robert Giard and is currently housed in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.


Barbara May Cameron, a talented photographer and filmmaker, achieved recognition through media and theater arts awards. Tragically, her screenplay “Long Time, No See” remained unfinished upon her passing.

Cameron co-founded the groundbreaking Gay American Indians (GAI) organization in 1975, driven by the belief that Native American gay individuals required distinct support due to unique needs and struggles within the larger LGBTQ+ community. Throughout her career, she made significant contributions to various anthologies, shedding light on issues like racism, homophobia, and empowerment for Native lesbians.

Her involvement in activism was extensive, including roles in LGBT Democratic clubs, international solidarity efforts, and AIDS education initiatives. Cameron’s commitment to social justice led her to serve as the executive director of Community United Against Violence (CUAV), where she provided assistance to victims of domestic violence and hate crimes.

Her legacy is celebrated through her insightful essays and influential roles in institutions like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the American Indian AIDS Institute. Cameron’s inspiring journey is commemorated in a Google Doodle, and her papers are preserved at the James Hormel LGBTQIA Center in the San Francisco Public Library.

On May 22, 2023, Google Doodle paid tribute to the esteemed Barbara May Cameron, a Native American photographer, poet, writer, and staunch advocate for human rights and the LGBTQ+ community.

The animated Doodle showcased Barbara with an LGBTQ+ flag in hand, wearing a camera around her neck, exuding a warm smile while surrounded by embracing figures in the background.

The artwork was thoughtfully crafted by Sienna Gonzales, a talented queer Mexican and Chitimachan artist. The occasion for this special feature was to commemorate what would have been Barbara May Cameron’s 69th birthday, celebrating her remarkable legacy and impactful contributions to various fields.

Barbara May Cameron Death

On February 12, 2002, Barbara May Cameron passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 47, succumbing to natural causes. Her memorial service drew notable figures, including Tom Ammiano, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Carole Migden, who represented District 13 in the California State Assembly at that time.

Throughout her life, Cameron had been a passionate advocate for gay and lesbian Native Americans, and this aspect of her legacy was fondly remembered by those who attended the service.

Regrettably, her screenplay “Long Time, No See” remained unfinished, leaving behind a creative endeavor that would forever remain a poignant reminder of her talent and potential.

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