PETOSKEY, Mich. -- A memorial service was held today for Waunetta Dominic, co-founder with her husband and father of the Northern Michigan Ottawa Association, the state's largest Indian organization.
Mrs. Dominic died Monday at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey.
She was 60.
Along with her husband, Robert, and father, Mrs. Dominic helped organize the Northern Michigan Ottawa Association in the late 1940s. The association now has 5,000 members. Mrs. Dominic served as the organization's president after her husband's death in 1976.
The Dominics were widely regarded as the most influential native Americans in Michigan. They led the legal battle that culminated in a landmark 1970 ruling that Indians must be compensated for land their ancestors ceded to the federal government in two 19th century treaties.
In recent years, Mrs. Dominic served as a spokeswoman for Indian tribes on the volatile gillnet fishing issue, often acting as an intermediary between Indians and white sport fishermen.
In 1979 Mrs. Dominic was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News. She is survived by five sons, a daughter, a brother and several grandchildren.