The Lucy Covington Digital Archive (LCDA) is a part of the Lucy Covington Initiative, which is an ongoing partnership between the Colville Confederated Tribes and Eastern Washington University to honor the legacy of Lucy Covington. The LCDA contains photographs and documents about the life of Lucy Covington, the fight against termination, and the promotion of self-determination. For more information about the Lucy Covington Initiative go to https://www.ewu.edu/give/funds/lucy-covington-initiative/.
About Lucy Covington
Lucy Covington, a long-time tribal rights activist and Colville Tribal Council member, helped change the course of American Indian history through her courageous and selfless style of leadership in the face of great odds.
Covington was one of many tribal peoples who worked in the 1950s and 1960s to bring an end to “termination” – an ill-conceived federal policy designed to wrest control of land and natural resources from tribal ownership, by terminating tribal status. Lucy worked with members of her own and other tribes to help preserve tribal sovereignty and self-determination for not only the Colville but for tribes across the country. Covington’s actions and success contributed toward reversing the United States government’s effort to extinguish its responsibilities to American Indian tribes.
After the termination struggle, Covington worked to protect tribal rights and resources, develop tribal services, govern the reservation for the benefit of tribe members, and promote inter-tribal cooperation. Not only was she an example of Native American self-determination in action, but she was also a founder of the movement itself, and her efforts engendered a shift of U.S. policy from termination to independence and autonomy. Covington died in 1982, at age 71.
It is the intention of Eastern Washington University to honor the legacy of Lucy Covington through the development of the four following areas: supporting future leaders, creating a confluence of culture and causes, development of a Lucy Covington archives, and finally a Lucy Covington Center.