Ralph Ware Jr., a full-blooded Kiowa who held a doctorate in clinical psychology, was remembered as someone who worked within the federal bureaucracy to help Indian people. “He would always sit back and he would say, ‘This can be improved. This shouldn’t be this way. Our people should not have to go through this hardship. There are grants. There are proposals that can be written,’ ” said his sister, Evelyn Weryackwe, of Anadarko, Okla. “Then he’d sit down and write them.” Ware, 56, lived in Minneapolis from about 1971 to 1981, and was instrumental in creating the state Indian Chemical Dependency Council and the Heart of the Earth Survival School, an alternative school for Indians who had dropped out of school. He returned to Oklahoma in the late 1980s. Ware, who suffered from cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes, died May 10 in Anadarko, Okla. He was a member of the American Indian Movement and negotiated with federal officials during the Trail of Broken Treaties protest in Washington, D.C., in 1972. He was born in Lawton, Okla. His stepfather was the youngest son of a Kiowa chief. Apparently because of a tuberculosis outbreak in the family, he was taken from his parents when he was a child and sent to the Fort Sill Indian School. He graduated from high school in 1949 and lied about his age to join the Army. He served in the Korean War and received the Purple Heart. He attended San Jose (Calif.) State University, the University of California at Berkeley and Oklahoma University. In January 1971, he became director of the Family Health Program at Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis. He counseled and evaluated Indian youth, many of whom came to him from juvenile detention, welfare and other social service agencies. He wrote grants and proposals that helped create Heart of the Earth Survival School, and a city-wide recreation program in for Indian youth. He also helped start the Native American Youth Drug Awareness Program. In 1973, he and a group of recovering alcoholics formed a coalition to lobby the state Legislature for money to create Indian alcoholism and drug treatment programs and to train counselors. He was chairman and director of the Minnesota Native American Council on Chemical Dependency in 1975. He was a legislative liaison for the state Indian Affairs Commission. He designed legislation pertaining to Indians and recruited sponsors. For six months in 1975, he was acting director of the St. Paul American Indian Center. He was an Indian planner for the city of St. Paul. Ware also organized powwows and voter registration tables. He helped political candidates write literature about Indian issues. He was known to have helped many Indians find homes and counseled those with drinking and drug problems. In addition to his sister, he is survived by his wife, Maxine; a son, Kent, of Albuquerque, N.M.; a daughter, Phyllis, of Minneapolis; his mother, Mildred Kaubin, of Chickesha, Okla.; another sister, Georgine Hotema, of Mill Creek, Okla.; a brother, Eugene Kaubin, of Lawton, Okla., and six grandchildren. Services were Friday in Anadarko.
Source: Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) – Monday, May 17, 1993