Professor Lehman L. Brightman-United Native Americans
Lehman L. Brightman is a Sioux and Creek Indian who was born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. He is the father of three boys — Lehman Jr., Gall and Quanah — and currently lives in Pinole, California.
Professor Brightman is the founder and National President of United Native Americans, Inc. a non-profit Indian organization formed in 1968, to promote th…e progress and general welfare of American Indians. In his capacity as President of UNA Mr. Brightman has testified in two U.S Senate Hearings on the deplorable conditions of Indian boarding schools and hospitals on reservations. And led investigations of seven Indian boarding schools and three Indian hospitals due to the poor service and abusive treatment of Indian people.
He is a former football and track star at Oklahoma State University where is earned a B.A. Degree, he has an M.A. Degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Brightman is an ex-Marine and served one year in the Korean conflict where he was wounded in action. He was a disinterested student going through the motions during high school and college in order to play football. However, when be joined the Marines, he found a renewed sense of purpose. “When I came back from the Marine Corps, I had straightened up,” he says. “It taught me to be responsible.
Most people who served in the Marines are proud of it. Before the Marines, my life wasn’t structured. I’ve lived my whole life since structured, and I learned that from the Corps.” USMC, Korea 1951 He established and coordinated the FIRST Native American Studies Program in the United States at UC Berkeley in 1969, and has since taught at the University of California in San Diego, Sacramento State University, and Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California. Brightman is the author of numerous articles on the history of Indian Education and federal boarding schools.