Sherman Coolidge and Adoption

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Wind River Reservation. Attribution: James G. Howes


1862-ca. 1933

Also known as Runs On Top

Arapaho (Native American) priest

Runs On Top was born in Wyoming. His father was killed by Bannock Indians when he was seven, and in 1870 he and his brother were kidnapped by Bannocks and Shoshones and turned over to white soldiers. He was adopted by a white couple and sent to a military academy where he was an outstanding student.

In 1884 he graduated from divinity school and was ordained an Episcopalian [Anglican] priest in 1889. He returned to his home reservation, Wind River, as priest. In 1911 he helped found the Society of American Indians, one of the first organizations to campaign for civil rights for Native Americans.


on File Hirschfelder, Arlene, and Molin, Paulette. Encyclopedia of Native American Religions: An Introduction. (New York: Facts, 1992)