REDDING, Calif. - About 200 people gathered at the Win River Casino event center to remember former Redding Rancheria Chairwoman Barbara Murphy who died last Tuesday.
“Barbara was a woman who wasn't afraid of her status as a woman,” Rancheria chair Jack Potter said. “She sat at the table with many male leaders throughout Indian country, and she wasn't afraid to speak her mind.”
It was an emotional service as several people stood up and shared their memories of Murphy and the impact she had on them and the community.
“There's so many stories of her capacity to be able to move people to become better,” son Joseph Murphy said.
Potter says the impact murphy had on the native community will be felt far and wide.
“It's going to be a great loss for Indian country,” he said. “And we're going to be alright as a tribe.”
Murphy was the last living recipient the original 17 government distributions that helped make the Redding Rancheria what it is today.
She drafted the tribe's constitution in 1986 and helped expand the Win River Casino.
“Everything you see around here is because of her leadership and how she was able to get people to create the constitution, to get approval for the compacts, to get all the things that were necessary to have this casino and then all the economic development we've done since then,” Joseph Murphy said.
Murphy was also instrumental in bringing healthcare centers to the Rancheria that benefit non-native residents as well.
“We're going on our third health center,” Potter said. “We just had the grand opening the other day. And that's all from her works from how she contracted those first monies. And those policies are still in place that she established.”
Tribes from across the indian nation sent flowers and paid their respects to murphy who fought for the rights of not only her tribe, but all tribes across the nation.
After the service, Murphy was laid to rest at Halcumb Cemetery in Montgomery Creek.
A celebration of life event was held back at the Win River event center after Murphy’s burial.
She was 79.
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