FORT TOTTEN, N.D. -- The subject of an Independent Lens/Frontline documentary who was regarded by loved ones as a “warrior woman” died Friday.
Robin Poor Bear, 38, previously known by her married name Robin Charboneau, was featured in the film “Kind Hearted Woman,” which aired on the Public Broadcasting Services in 2013. The documentary traced Poor Bear’s life on Spirit Lake Reservation as she tried to raise her two children, obtain a college degree and come to terms with the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
The film also chronicled Poor Bear’s custody battle with her ex-husband, who later was convicted in federal court of sexually abusing Poor Bear’s daughter.
In the end, she regained custody of her two children and began work as a sexual abuse educator.
Poor Bear passed away at her rural Fort Totten home, but it is unclear how she died.
Many people, including viewers of the documentary film, strangers impacted by her story or friends and family, took to social media to express their sadness at Poor Bear’s death.
The White Earth DOVE Program, a nonprofit against sexual and partner violence in White Earth, Minn., called Poor Bear a “pillar in the American Indian communities everywhere” in a post to its Facebook page.
“Robin's legacy and tireless efforts in (victim services) provided changes that will be everlasting. Robin provided her heart and soul where it was needed and never hesitated when she was called upon,” wrote the nonprofit Monday.
Her wake will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Tekakwitha Center in St. Michael, N.D., according to the Evans Funeral Home website. Her funeral is at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in St. Michael, according to Evans Funeral Home.