Finding aid to the Barbara Cameron Papers, 1968-2003 GLC 63

Tim Wilson
James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Title: Barbara Cameron Papers
Date (inclusive): 1968-2003
Identifier/Call Number: GLC 63
Creator: Cameron, Barbara M.
Physical Description: 2 boxes + 5 oversized folders (2 cubic feet)
Contributing Institution: James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 557-4567
Abstract: Barbara M. Cameron was a Native American lesbian writer, speaker, photographer, and political activist. Her papers include speeches, writings, subject files, photographs, audiotapes, and printed materials on the subjects of: rights for lesbians, for women and for Native Americans; race; HIV education; and homophobia.
Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
Language of Material: Collection materials are in English, with one item in German.


The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Barbara Cameron Papers (GLC 63), LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Accession note

Donated by Rhys Boyd-Farrell, July 10, 2006.

Materials Discarded

The following newspaper sections about the deaths of Harvey Milk and George Moscone have been discarded as they duplicate holdings in the San Francisco History Center's collection: San Francisco Chronicle, November 29, 1978 Section 1; San Francisco Examiner, November 27, 1978 Section 1; and, San Francisco Examiner, November 30, 1978 Section 1.

Biographical Note

Barbara M. Cameron was a Native American lesbian writer, speaker, photographer, and political activist. She was born on May 22, 1954 in Fort Yates, North Dakota. She was raised on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota principally by her grandparents. After high school graduation, Cameron moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts. She majored in photography and film and won many awards. In 1973 she moved to San Francisco to attend the San Francisco Art Institute.
In 1975 Cameron co-founded the group Gay American Indians. She was a principal organizer of the Lesbian Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration (1980-1985), the executive director (1989-1992) of CUAV (Community United Against Violence), and a delegate to the 1988 Democratic Convention. She was appointed by Mayor Dianne Feinstein to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the Citizens Committee on Community Development, and by Mayor Frank Jordan to the Commission on the Status of Women. She also served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the American Indian AIDS Institute; and she was a member of the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club.
In 1986 Cameron traveled to Nicaragua as a member of Somos Hermanas, a group of women who went to learn about, and show solidarity with, the women working to improve life there. She went to Berlin in 1993 to the International Conference on AIDS, participating in the International Indigenous AIDS Network. Throughout 1993 she traveled to reservations in the continental U.S. and Hawaii, working to further AIDS education.
Cameron's writing is published in several anthologies, including both versions of Our Right to Love and This Bridge Called My Back. Her writing is included in the curriculum in many colleges and universities.
Barbara Cameron died in San Francisco on February 12, 2002. She was survived by her partner of twenty-one years, Linda Boyd, and their son Rhys Boyd-Farrell.

Scope and Contents

The papers primarily document Cameron's life in San Francisco. The collection is strongest in Cameron's speeches and writings. Additional materials demonstrate her involvement with several organizations that provided support to the Native American, lesbian, and women's communities.


The collection is arranged into six series: Series 1. Personal Papers; Series 2. Speeches and Writings; Series 3. Subject Files; Series 4. Printed Materials; Series 5. Photographs; and, Series 6. Ephemera and Audiorecordings.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Lesbian authors -- California -- San Francisco -- Biography.
Indian Women -- North America -- Biography.
Cameron, Barbara M. -- Archives


Series 1 Personal Papers, 1971-2003

Physical Description: 16 folders

Scope and Contents

The series contains correspondence, biographical information, letters of recommendation, notes on speaking engagements, sketch books, and certificates. Of particular note are the poems, letters and drawings from Menominee poet Chrystos to Cameron and Linda Boyd.


Arranged alphabetically.
box 1, folder 1

Astrological chart, undated

box 1, folder 2

Biographical information, undated

box 1, folder 3

Biographical information. Profile regarding the Women's Building, 1984

box 1, folder 4

Certificate of Honor. San Francisco Board of Superviors [in presentation cover], 1993

box 1, folder 5

Certificates and awards, 1983-2002

General note

"Individual Human Rights" seminar for Golden Gate University Law School (1983); San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration Committee (1987); Democratic National Convention delegate (1988); Alice B. Toklas Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club (1989); United Way MANAGE Program (1991); University of Oklahoma Wellness & Women IV Conference (1992).
box 1, folder 6

Chrystos. Poems, letters and cards to Barbara Cameron and Linda Boyd, 1991-2003, undated

box 1, folder 7

Correspondence, 1971-2002


Bettina (1991)


Berlandt, Konstantin (1985)


Boyd, Linda (1994, 2002, undated)


Bratt, Georgia W. (1993)


Dunlap, Mary, CUAV donor letter (undated)


[Guy], Roma (1994, [1995])


Harper Collins (1994)


Hitchcock, Jodi (1991)


Hutton, Dorothy, R.N. (1971)


Levy, Chana (1983)


Locklear, Clisby R., North Carolina Minority AIDS Education Program (1993)

Clisby R. Locklear, North Carolina Minority AIDS Education Program, letter to Anthony Turney, NAMES Project: August 9, 1993


Melton, Bill (1994)


Merrill, Greg (1999)


Migden, Carole (2002)


[Norman?], Pat (1997)


PowWow listserve (2000)


Reid (1992)


Rink (1994)


Third Woman Press (2000)


Turney, Anthony, NAMES Project (1993)

Clisby R. Locklear, North Carolina Minority AIDS Education Program, letter to Anthony Turney, NAMES Project: August 9, 1993


Vazquez, Carmen (2001-2002)


Wyre, Ed (1985)

box 1, folder 8

Human Rights Commission (San Francisco), 1988, 2002

General note

Includes letters of recommendation about Cameron written by Roma Guy, Ken Jones, and Carmen Vazquez; and a resolution passed to honor Cameron's life.
box 1, folder 9

Obituaries, funeral mass program, memorial remembrances, 2002


Graves, Sharol

box 1, folder 10

Online documents found via Google searches on "Barbara Cameron", 2002

box 1, folder 11

Passport, 1985

box 1, folder 12

Performance evaluation, UCSF Women's Specialty Clinic, 1995

box 1, folder 13

Resume, 1993

box 1, folder 14

Sketch Books, 1988, undated

box 1, folder 15

Speaking engagements (programs), 1983, 1993

box 1, folder 16

Spiral notebook [includes recipes, etc.], undated


Series 2 Speeches and Writings, 1980-2002

Scope and Contents

Cameron's speeches and writings generally address issues of acceptance, racism within the lesbian and gay community, and homophobia within the Native American community. The speeches are usually shorter and include a call for action. The speech "At the Memorial for Phil Tingley" is a longer piece and muses about many subjects including HIV. Cameron's writings are often quite personal; some are diary entries, poems, and several pieces deal with friends and relatives who have died. "For Linda" is to her life partner Linda Boyd. A few of the pieces are about Cameron's trip to Nicaragua with Somos Hermanas; others are about HIV and AIDS awareness.


Arranged into two subseries: Series 2A. Speeches; and, Series 2B. Writings. Arranged alphabetically within each subseries.

Subseries 2A Speeches, 1980-1993

Physical Description: 9 folders
box 1, folder 17

At the Memorial for Phil Tingley, [1991]

box 1, folder 18

Bates College (speech, program correspondence), 1991-1992

box 1, folder 19

Family, undated

box 1, folder 20

[Freedom of Women], [198-]

box 1, folder 21

Gay Freedom Day Speech, June 29, 1980

box 1, folder 22

LAVA acceptance (Bay Area Career Women), 1993

box 1, folder 23

Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day, June 1983

box 1, folder 24

Native Lesbians, undated

box 1, folder 25

"Uniting Ourselves--Bridging Our Differences" about lesbians of color, June 13, 1987


Subseries 2B Writings, 1981-2002

Physical Description: 36 folders
box 1, folder 26

Adrian, undated

box 1, folder 27

As a Child I Was a Tomboy..., undated

box 1, folder 28

Autobiography ["Biography"], [1984]

box 1, folder 29

Be Like Mike the Lakota, undated

box 1, folder 30

The Body Keeps Spilling, undated

box 1, folder 31

The Buffalo Nation Loves Us Best, Just Ask Them: Homage to My Lakota People and the Buffalo Nation in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, undated

box 1, folder 32

For Linda, undated

box 1, folder 33

4 I Miss: Tommy, Marian, Marilyn, Manny, undated

box 1, folder 34

Frybread in Berlin, 1993

Frybread in Berlin, Declaration of the International Indigenous AIDS Network: June 1993


Declaration of the International Indigenous AIDS Network (June 11, 1993) 60889

box 1, folder 35

Henry, January 1984

box 1, folder 36

I Wanted to Love You Johnny Grey Eyes, 2000

box 1, folder 37

Letter to Mani After His Death; Mani, undated

General note

Mani Lucas
box 1, folder 38

Letter to the Editor regarding John Carman, [1994]

oversize-folder 1

"The Life and Crimes of Gene Zuchelli: a personal gay history" (International Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day program, San Francisco, California), June 26, 1983

box 1, folder 39

Long Time, No See [screenplay?], undated

box 1, folder 40

Mani, undated

box 1, folder 41

Necessary Bread Affinity Group, undated

box 1, folder 42

Nicaragua--SOMOS HERMANAS, undated

box 1, folder 43

Nicaragua fundraiser, undated

box 1, folder 44

No Apologies: A Lakota Lesbian Perspective, undated

box 1, folder 45

On Health and Medical Treatment, undated

General note

Includes draft of "Look at me, I am not a separate woman."
box 1, folder 46

On HIV and AIDS in Native American Communities and On Racism in Lesbian / Gay Communities, 1987-1993

On HIV and AIDS in Native American Communities and On Racism in Lesbian / Gay Communities: 1987-1993


National Native American AIDS Prevention Center survey

box 1, folder 47

Place at the Table, undated

box 1, folder 48

Poem drafts, 1993, 1996, undated

Physical Description: Contains drafts of: Mournning Becomes a Clandestine Act; The River Is Home; searching; Santa Fe 1993; When the visitors come; Nondilke; I Need to Get to Camino del Monte Sol; Wearing Short Hair in Order to be a Blonde; Look at me, I am not a separate woman; Me at Eleven; Adrian.
box 1, folder 49

Poetry, 1984

box 1, folder 50

Poetry, May 1987

box 1, folder 51

Poetry, San Francisco, 2000

box 1, folder 52

Point of View, 1988

box 1, folder 53

Racism, undated

box 1, folder 54

"Record" [diary entries, addresses, recipes, book / movie scenes], 1994

box 1, folder 55

"Record" [diary entries, recipes], 1995-1996

box 1, folder 56

The River Is Home, undated

box 1, folder 57

Screenplay, undated

box 1, folder 58

This Bridge Called My Back [program of book reading, and review of program by Linda Boyd], [1981]

box 1, folder 59

Tokenism, undated


Agnos, Art


Lesbian Agenda for Action

box 1, folder 60

Writings, undated

General note

Includes: Smirk Faced Goddess; Wild Turnip; Ron's (Cante ska Wicasa) Indians; The Deer of Peace, Bo Huston; "Traveling from East to West."

Series 3 Subject Files, 1968-2002

Physical Description: 31 folders

Scope and Contents

The series contains materials collected on such subjects as AIDS education, Nicaragua, organizations for Native Americans, Native Americans in popular culture, domestic violence, and politics. Of note is a folder of correspondence and other documents by and about Konstantin Berlandt.


Arranged alphabetically.
box 1, folder 61

AIDS Prevention Training, 1993

AIDS Prevention Training, National Native American AIDS Prevention Center: 1993


National Native American AIDS Prevention Center

box 1, folder 62

Alice B. Toklas Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club, 1988-1991

box 1, folder 63

American Indian AIDS Institute, 1993-1995

American Indian AIDS Institute: 1993

box 1, folder 64

American Indian Film Festival (20th: San Francisco, California) program, 1995

box 1, folder 65

Berlandt, Konstantin (1946-1994), 1968-1994, undated

General note

Includes: certification of immunization; postcards and letters to Winnifred Elliott; clippings about and by Berlandt; short story "Ring My Bell;" letter from Marven Nelson dated January 27, 1991; letter from Tom Collins dated November 7, 1994; A Spring Bouquet from A Hippie Garden of Verses by Herman Berlandt (1992); resumes; "Gay Politics" by Berlandt (July 9, 1980); autobiographical sketch.

See also:

Box 1 / Folder 7. Correspondence (1985)

Berlandt, Herman


Collins, Tom


Elliott, Winnifred


Nelson, Marven O.

box 1, folder 66

Braithwaite, Ron (September 29, 1960-November 13, 1994). Eulogy and funeral mass program, 1994

box 1, folder 67

Cable Car Awards program, 1992

box 1, folder 68, oversize-folder 2

Clippings, 1984-1994

General note

Includes: Wes Studi and the film Geronimo ; and "Environmental Justice in Indian Country" by Gail Small ( The Amicus Journal ). Includes oversized folder with Women's Building interview (1984).
box 1, folder 69

CUAV (Community United Against Violence), 1991, undated


Marks, Milton

box 1, folder 70

Democratic National Convention, 1988

General note

Includes Jesse Jackson for President '88 bumper sticker.
box 1, folder 71

Domestic Violence, 1997-1998, undated

box 1, folder 72

Incident at Oglala (Miramax Films) press kit, [1992]

box 1, folder 73

Institute on Native American Health and Wellness, 1995-1997

box 1, folder 74

Lakol New Voices, 1998-1999

box 1, folder 75

Lakota Books catalog, 60992 1996

box 1, folder 76

Lakota / Dakota language course information, 1999

box 1, folder 77

Maps, undated

box 1, folder 78

Matthews, Tede, 1993

box 1, folder 79, oversize-folder 3

Nicaragua, 1987-1988, undated

General note

Includes: 1987 SOMOS HERMANAS calendar with Cameron's annotations; two images of Dora Maria Tellez; Poem and card in memory of Nora Astorga (1948-1988); clipping of 9 people at a table; FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional) banner.
box 1, folder 80

Out in Front! A Call for Leadership in Funding the Needs of Bay Area Lesbian and Gay People, 1995

box 1, folder 81

Peltier, Leonard, 2002

box 1, folder 82

A Reception Honoring American Indian Women, May 16, 1984

box 1, folder 83

San Francisco Bay Area Native American groups, 1991-1997, undated

General note

Includes: "Mental Health Issues in the Context of Culture, Race and Sexuality: A Preliminary Study of Gay and Lesbian Native Americans" by Kathleen Erwin (1991); 10th Annual Silverstar program; flyers; "Save Ward Valley."
box 1, folder 84

Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates, North Dakota), 2002

box 1, folder 85

Sovereignty for Indian Nations [cut out], undated

box 2, folder 1

Stanford Powwow (31st: Stanford, California) program, 2002

box 2, folder 2

Strawberry Press. Poetry postcards, 1979

General note

Includes: "Elegy for Chief Sealth [1786-1866]" by Duane Niatum; "Ghosts...listening to Helene sing" by Wendy Rose.
box 2, folder 3

Two-Spirits & HIV: a Conference for the Health of Gay & Lesbian Native Americans, 1991

Two-Spirits & HIV: a Conference for the Health of Gay & Lesbian Native Americans: 1991

box 2, folder 4

Women's Building (San Francisco, California) brochure, undated


Series 4 Printed Materials, 1968-2002

Physical Description: 18 folders

Scope and Contents

The series contains published books, articles, and magazines, which generally cover lesbian or Native American subjects. Cameron's writing appears in several pieces, notably: Our Right To Love and This Bridge Called My Back .


Arranged alphabetically.
box 2, folder 5

Africa--The Mother of Civilization. A Multimedia Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (Cultural Interactive Media, Inc.), 1997

General note

Includes: Teacher's guide; Student's guide; CD-ROM.
box 2, folder 6

Brant, Beth (Degonwadonti). Mohawk Trail (Ithaca, New York: Firebrand Books, 1985). Food and Spirits (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1991), 1985, 1991

General note

Inscribed to Cameron.
box 2, folder 7

Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life (New York: Harper and Row), 1989

box 2, folder 8

Field, Syd. Screenplay: the Foundations of Screenwriting . 3rd edition (New York: Dell), 1994

box 2, folder 9

Fields, Gary S. American Indian Music Traditions and Contributions (Portland Public Schools Geocultural Baseline Essay Series), 1993-1995

box 2, folder 10

El Grito: a Journal of Contemporary Mexican-American Thought (Berkeley, California: Quinto Sol Publications), vol. 2 (1 and 4), Fall 1968, Summer 1969

box 2, folder 11

Kenny, Maurice. I Am The Sun: a Lakota Chant, 1976

box 2, folder 12

Kenny, Maurice. North: Poems of Home . (Chapbook no. 4, Blue Cloud Quarterly, South Dakota), 1977

General note

Inscribed to "Barbara and Rubin."
box 2, folder 13

Lesbenstich 1/81. 2 Jahrgang, 1981

General note

Periodical in German. Includes article on Native American lesbians with photo of Cameron. Also includes letter (in English) from Jo to Cameron, February 23, 1981.
oversize-folder 4

Native American Smoke Signals: Voice of the Nation (Mayer, Arizona), vol. 1, no. 5, August 1993

box 2, folder 14

Official Proceedings of the 1988 Democratic National Convention (Cameron listed on p.37), 1988

box 2, folder 15

Our Right To Love: A Lesbian Resource Book (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pretice-Hall). Edited by Ginny Vida. Barbara Cameron piece on pp. 229-230, 1978

box 2, folder 16

A Sampler for Social Change: Focus on Lesbian and Gay Issues" (Education Exploration Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota), Spring 1980

box 2, folder 17

Seven Circles Foundation Newsletter (Lagunitas, California), Spring & Summer 1997

box 2, folder 18

Sinister Wisdom #20 (Amherst, Massachussetts), 1982

General note

Inscribed: "Especially for Barbara, who inspired the poem. Love Chrystos."
box 2, folder 19

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (Watertown, Massachussets: Persephone Press). Edited by Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, 1981

General note

Includes piece by Barbara Cameron.
box 2, folder 20

TJC Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education , vol. 14 (no. 1), Fall 2002

General note

Two pieces marked: "Lakota Blood" by Danielle Rose Black Fox; and "For My Son" by Linda Jones.
box 2, folder 21

Treaty Council News (New York and San Francisco: International Indian Treaty Council), vol. 5, no. 2, July 1983


Series 5 Photographs, 1977-1995

Physical Description: 20 folders

Scope and Contents

The series contains snapshots of Cameron and many of her friends, political events and parades. Of note are images from the Nelson Mandela rally in Oakland, some informal photographs of a women's group in Willits, California, and a photo of Cameron being sworn in that is signed by Frank Jordan.


Arranged alphabetically.
box 2, folder 22

Alice B. Toklas Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club paste-ups for Alice Reports, 1990, undated

box 2, folder 23

Konstantin Berlandt, 1980-1983, undated

box 2, folder 24

Barbara Cameron, 1981, 1988, undated

General note

One photo of swearing in inscribed by Frank M. Jordan.

Frank M. Jordan

box 2, folder 25

Barbara Cameron, Canyon Sam, San Francisco Gay Pride, June 1981

box 2, folder 26

Pam David, undated

box 2, folder 27

Pam David and Carmen [Vazquez?], undated

box 2, folder 28

Democratic National Convention (includes negatives), 1988

box 2, folder 29

Roma Guy birthday, undated

box 2, folder 30

Ken Jones (Parade Co-Chair), undated

box 2, folder 31

Kenny, Maurice, 1977

box 2, folder 32

LAFA (Lesbian Agenda For Action), undated

box 2, folder 33

Jacqui Lewis, undated

box 2, folder 34

Nelson Mandela rally, Oakland Coliseum, [1990]

box 2, folder 35

Miscellaneous: "mostly Alice [B. Toklas Democratic Club] members", undated

box 2, folder 36

Miscellaneous: parades, Roma Guy?, photos prepared for a publication, 1995, undated

box 2, folder 37

Diane Sabin, undated

box 2, folder 38

Canyon Sam, 1982, undated

box 2, folder 39

Somos Hermanas contingent, [Gay / Lesbian Pride] Parade, [San Francisco, California], undated

box 2, folder 40

[Vazquez?], Carmen, undated

box 2, folder 41

Willits group [some nudity], undated




Gearhart, Sally


Lichtenberg, Paula


Sam, Canyon


Series 6 Ephemera and Audiorecordings, 1981-1993

Physical Description: 5 folders + 6 audiotapes

Scope and Contents

The series contains ephemera such as a Jesse Jackson for president T-shirt from 1988, and a Greg Day for San Francisco Supervisor button. It also includes audiotapes of a few of Cameron's speaking engagements. The tapes of the readings from This Bridge Called My Back from 1981 and the Lesbians of Color panel in 1986 are probably the most significant recordings.


Arranged into two sections: Ephemera (in alphabetical order); Audiotapes (in chronological order).
box 2, folder 42

Award (plaque): Cable Car Award "1992 Oustanding Harvey Milk Community Service Award", 1992

box 2, folder 43

Button: "Greg Day Supervisor", undated

box 2, folder 44

Dollar Bill: "Front Line of Freedom. Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade & Celebration, San Francisco. Queer as a Three Dollar Bill. [Signed by] co-chairs Barbara M. Cameron, Greg Day", June 28, 1981

box 2, folder 45

Postcards: Hotel Santa Fe, Berlin "Gold-Else", undated

oversize-folder 5

T-shirt: "Jesse Jackson '88. 'It's Time for a change' ", 1988

box 2, folder 46

This "Bridge" Called My Back [book reading], Friday, June 5, [1981]

Physical Description: 1 audiotape
box 2, folder 46

Formando Un Puente...Building Bridges (Oakland, California: Redwood Records), 1984

Physical Description: 1 audiotape
box 2, folder 46

Lesbians of Color (Cameron, Harris, Ordona, Vazquez), [June 21, 1986]

Physical Description: 1 audiotape

General note

A presentation on Cross-Racial Hostility by Barbara Cameron, Virginia Harris, Trinity Ordona and Carmen Vazquez. Part of "Coming Out And Surviving: A Conference for/by Lesbians of Color." The first Bay Area Lesbians of Color Conference was held June 21, 1986 at the Women's Building in San Francisco.
box 2, folder 46

Counting Crows: "August & Everything After"; Gipsy Kings: "Mosaique", [1989, 1993]

Physical Description: 1 audiotape
box 2, folder 47

OUT93--1993 Outwrite Writer's Conference. Public Conversation: Chrystos, Cheryl Clarke, 1993

Physical Description: 1 audiotape
box 2, folder 47

Indian Voice 16 min. long (side A); Marian's Visit B-Day (side B), undated

Physical Description: 1 audiotape