Barbara May Cameron: A Life of Accomplishment and Inspiration

Barbara May Cameron: A Life of Accomplishment and Inspiration

Barbara May Cameron stands out as a significant figure in the realms of photography, literature, and human rights activism.

Of Native American descent, her work made impactful strides in lesbian/gay rights, women’s rights, and Indigenous activism.

Cameron was born on May 22, 1954, in Fort Yates, North Dakota. This location, on the Standing Rock Native American Reservation, significantly influenced her life and work. 

Her passionate advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and her compelling writing has left an enduring legacy.

In North Dakota, Cameron spent her early years attending school and nurturing a fascination with photography. 

This interest later became a driving force in her career when she moved to San Francisco. 

As a photographer and writer, she produced work that graced the pages of publications such as “The Advocate”, “The Lesbian Tide” and “Off Our Backs”.

In 1989, she achieved notable recognition. Her book “Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology” won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Anthology.

But her career was not limited to writing. Cameron became a zealous advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

She joined the boards of directors for the National Coalition of Gay Organizations (NCGO) and the National Gay Task Force (NGTF). Beyond that, she was instrumental in setting up the Women’s Press Collective. 

This publishing company became a platform for women authors of diverse backgrounds.

Cameron’s social justice work expanded to encompass Indigenous peoples’ rights. 

She collaborated with organizations like the American Indian Movement (AIM), raising awareness about Indigenous issues. 

Throughout her career, she vigorously confronted injustices that Indigenous peoples suffered from both within their communities and external forces.

Her legacy continues to thrive in her influential work. It has inspired and received praise from many industry leaders who have either collaborated with her or been influenced by her work.

Sarah Deer, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law, once commented, “Barbara’s vision of justice included everyone — even those who had been left out before.”

We remember Barbara May Cameron as an inspiring force who tirelessly championed social justice throughout her life. Her bravery and tenacity have made a profound impression on many who continue to draw inspiration from her work.

Her writings and activism underscore a critical message: it is indeed possible to enact change in the face of adversity or societal opposition.

Google is celebrating the 69th birthday of Barbara May Cameron

Today, Google is celebrating the 69th birthday of Barbara May Cameron, a Native American photographer, poet, writer, and human rights activist. Barbara May Cameron was born on May 22nd, 1954 and her legacy lives on today.

To commemorate her life and work, Google has created a special Doodle. Her photography captured the beauty of nature and advocated for Native American rights and culture. 

Barbara’s writing focused on themes of identity and belonging while also exploring the complexities of modern life.

Cameron’s legacy is one that continues to inspire people all over the world. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions, including at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. 

She was also awarded several honors for her activism and photography throughout her lifetime.

Google’s Doodle celebrates Barbara May Cameron’s 69th birthday by highlighting some of her most iconic photographs alongside inspiring quotes from her writings. It serves as a reminder to honor those who have dedicated their lives to making positive changes in our world.

Barbara May Cameron was a trailblazer in various fields, such as photography, writing, and activism. Here is a list of her most notable achievements:

List of Barbara May Cameron’s achievements


Barbara’s photographs have been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Her work captured the strength, beauty, and resilience of Indigenous peoples, particularly the LGBTQ+ community within those groups.


As a writer, she contributed to various publications such as “The Advocate,” “The Lesbian Tide,” and “Off Our Backs.” She also authored several books, with her most famous work being “Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology.” This book won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Anthology in 1989.


Barbara was an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and Indigenous rights. She worked with organizations like the National Coalition of Gay Organizations (NCGO), the National Gay Task Force (NGTF), and the American Indian Movement (AIM) to raise awareness about these issues and fight for equality.

Women’s Press Collective

Barbara founded the Women’s Press Collective, which aimed to publish works by women authors from diverse backgrounds. This initiative provided a platform for underrepresented voices in literature and helped amplify the stories of marginalized communities.

Board of Directors

Cameron served on the board of directors for both the National Coalition of Gay Organizations (NCGO) and the National Gay Task Force (NGTF), where she played a vital role in shaping policies and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.

Public Speaking

Throughout her career, Barbara was an influential speaker who addressed various topics such as Indigenous rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and social justice. She used her platform to inspire change and promote understanding among different communities.


Barbara May Cameron’s work continues to impact and inspire individuals today, particularly within the LGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities. Her dedication to social justice and equality has left a lasting impression on those who continue to fight for these causes.

In conclusion, Barbara May Cameron’s achievements span various disciplines, showcasing her passion for social justice, art, and literature. Her work continues to inspire new generations to fight for equality and uplift marginalized voices.