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Phillip Bautista

Phillip Bautista, (Wazhu Migizi - Mountain Eagle), Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan, journeyed to the spirit world at the age of 73 from health complications related to Covid 19 on January 11, 2022. He resided in Apache Junction, AZ with his fiancée, Dolores Pompa. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on October 30, 1948 to Felipe Bautista and Celia Rodriguez. He is survived by his younger sister, Linda Taylor (Jim), East Troy WI, his sons Younghawk, Phil Jr. and daughter Sacheen Bautista, grandchildren Nahaneh Redsky Martinez and Seneca Rain Martinez all from Milwaukee WI, step daughters Josie Rose Red Wing-Ballard (AZ) and Melody Marie Red Wing (RI). He was preceded in death by his mother, Celia Dweicki(Rodriguez)father, Felipe Bautista, sisters, Hope Velasco, Lila and Christine Bautista.

In 1971, Phillip answered the call and became an active member of Milwaukee, Wisconsin AIM (American Indian Movement) as his interest in activism and Native rights grew. He became involved in securing treaty rights, fishing rights, community empowerment and protection of cultural identity and spirituality. Phil was a 1973 Wounded Knee American Indian Movement veteran. He fought in active battle with the government over Native rights and to end discrimination in Indian Country. He was a 51 year AIM veteran.

In 1987 he became Board Vice Chairman of the Indian Community School of Milwaukee (now Franklin, WI). This school first started as the AIM school in 1969 by three Oneida women, with its mission being to have all Native children taught culturally and historically relevant curriculum. For his work with Indian education, Phil had received Indian Educator of the Year award from 11 tribes for re-opening the school after a very long dormant period.

In combination with his realized goal of culturally relevant education of Native children, Phillip had the unique, sole vision of securing sustainable funding for the school by pursuing and pitching trust land status for a high-stakes bingo operation to all Wisconsin tribes. This vision became a reality in 1990-1991 with Potawatomi Bingo in Milwaukee when the Forest County Potawatomi agreed to the venture he put forth. Phil traveled to the BIA in DC representing the Indian Community School and signed off on all documents and also attended all local meetings along with Loretta Ford to make this happen. This evolved into today’s Potawatomi Hotel and Casino—the only casino of its kind in Wisconsin. It was a win-win situation not only for the school which purchased a new building for the children, but for the Forest County Potawatomi who today are a thriving tribe. It was a remarkable achievement of a vision for Phil that no one believed he could accomplish.

Phil had been a member of the Ogichidaa Medicine Society of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, Eagle Clan. He was also a member of National Congress of American Indians (from 2002) and National Indian Gaming Association (from 2002).

Phil is very loved and will be greatly missed by his family. He was a huge inspiration to many whose path he crossed. Memories of him will be cherished always.


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