Francis La FlescheFrancis La Flesche (Omaha, 1857–1932) was the first professional Native American ethnologist; he worked with the Smithsonian Institution. He specialized in Omaha and Osage cultures. Working closely as a translator and researcher with the anthropologist Alice C. Fletcher, La Flesche wrote several articles and a book on the Omaha, plus more numerous works on the Osage. He made valuable original recordings of their traditional songs and chants. Beginning in 1908, he collaborated with American composer Charles Wakefield Cadman to develop an opera, ''Da O Ma'' (1912), based on his stories of Omaha life, but it was never produced. A collection of La Flesche's stories was published posthumously in 1998.
Of Omaha, Ponca, and French descent, La Flesche was the son of Omaha chief Joseph LaFlesche (also known as Iron Eye) and his second wife ''Ta-in-ne'' (Omaha). He grew up on the Omaha Reservation at a time of major transition for the tribe. Before the establishment of anthropology programs, La Flesche earned undergraduate and master's degrees at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. He made his professional life among European Americans. Provided by Wikipedia