Wallace "Mad Bear" Anderson

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Wallace "Mad Bear" Anderson
Born Wallace Anderson
(1927-11-09)November 9, 1927
Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston, New York, United States
Died December 10, 1985(1985-12-10) (aged 58)
Nationality American, Tuscarora
Occupation Activist
Military career
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War

Wallace "Mad Bear" Anderson (November 9, 1927 – December 10, 1985) was a Tuscarora Native American activist predominantly active in the 1950s who became a spokesman for Native American Sovereignty.[1]

As a child, Anderson received the nickname "Mad Bear" from his grandmother due to his temper. As a young man, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II in Okinawa, and later in Korea during the Korean War. Anderson became an activist for Native American Rights after being rejected for a loan under the GI Bill to build a house on the Tuscarora reservation.[1]

Income Tax Protests[edit]

Anderson led protests against Iroquois payment of New York State income taxes in 1957. Several hundred Akwesasne Mohawks marched to the Massena, New York courthouse to burn court summons that were issued for unpaid taxes.

Tuscarora Reservoir Protest[edit]

The Power Authority of the State of New York seized Tuscarora Reservation land to build a reservoir to flood the land. Anderson was a key figure in the protest against the Tuscarora Reservoir, blocking surveyors from entering the reservation and deflating tires of workers, as well as lying in the road to block trucks. Despite the protest efforts, the U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that the taking of the land was legal and the reservoir was built.[1]

Declaration of Sovereignty[edit]

In March 1959, Anderson helped to lead a revolt and declaration of sovereignty at the Six Nations Reserve in Brantford, Ontario, the borough founded by Joseph Brant. Following this declaration, twelve Royal Canadian Mounted Police entered the reserve's council house, but the Iroquois forced them out.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Johansen, Bruce Elliot; Barbara Alice Mann (2000). Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-0313308802. 

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