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Associated Press, Published August 16 2013

Former Affiliated Tribes chairman Spotted Bear dies

BISMARCK — Former Three Affiliated Tribes chairwoman Alyce Spotted Bear has died at age 67, the tribe in a news release.

She died Tuesday in Bismarck after a short battle with liver cancer.

Spotted Bear, who worked in all levels of education, was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and was currently vice president of the Native Studies Department at Fort Berthold Community College, a department she helped create, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

"We at Fort Berthold Community College are grateful for the opportunities that were bestowed upon us through her committed efforts and feel fortunate she came to be with us," college president Russell Mason, Jr. said in a statement.

Born in Elbowoods on Dec. 17, 1945, Spotted Bear was one of 13 children and was a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

She served as chairwoman from 1982 to 1987 and was one of only two women elected to the position.

"She was a very intelligent leader, and compassionate," said Jodi Rave, her niece and fellow instructor in the Native Studies Department at Fort Berthold. "She was always kind and generous."

Spotted Bear led the effort for Missouri River tribes to be compensated after many were displaced during flooding.

In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her to the council that advises the Secretary of Education on programs that affect Native Americans.

"Alyce Spotted Bear was an inspiration to all who knew her," said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a statement.

She is survived by her son, Travis Hallam, four grandchildren and numerous siblings, foster and adopted siblings and nieces and nephews.

The wake and funeral will take place at the school in Twin Buttes, where Spotted Bear lived. The wake will be held 6 p.m. Sunday and the funeral service at 10 a.m. Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.