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  Written by
  Charlotte Snow

  Photography by
  Lloyd DeGrane

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  > > Minds at work
  > > The stuff of tears
  > > Native Chicago

image: "Native Chicago" headlineContinued... Having served as one of the University's first Harper fellows from 1975 to 1978, Straus--who goes by Terry--returned to the faculty five years ago to teach graduate courses on Native-American topics. Though she often travels to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana (and runs a beef-cattle ranch on the neighboring Crow Indian Reservation, some 20 miles up a dirt road in the Wolf Mountains), her work is focused on Chicago's urban Native Americans.

image: Terry Strauss, AM'70, PhD'76 (Lloyd DeGrane)Following her motto of "practice what you teach," she's active as a volunteer, adviser, and advocate in the city's community of 7,000 Native Americans from more than 100 tribal backgrounds. In addition to her work with NAFPA, she serves on the national advisory council of the Newberry Library's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History and is vice president of the board of directors of the Red Path Theater Company of Chicago.

A former dean of Chicago's Native American Educational Services (NAES) College, she has published several books on the history and literary life of the city's Native Americans. Says Native-American writer and Red Path director E. Donald Two-Rivers: "She has been a trusted member of our community for as long as I can remember. I have always regarded her as a trusted educator and diplomat for our issues."

The 54-year-old Straus, a third-generation Hyde Parker who is not Native American, grew up on 56th Street in a gray frame house between Kenwood and Dorchester. Today, she and her husband, Albert K. Straus, a surgeon at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, live on that same block and have sent all four of their children to the Lab Schools. The University named a professorship in the humanities after her grandmother, actress Phyllis Fay Horton, AB'15, and her parents--Winston & Strawn attorney Calvin P. Sawyier, AB'42, AM'42, and Illinois Institute of Technology professor emerita Fay Horton Sawyier, AB'44, PhD'64--met as U of C students. Her mother, she says, was a role model and encouraged her "as a pre-women's-movement daughter to do and be anything I might dream of."

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