2014 Winner: Marcus Bear Eagle

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Marcus Bear Eagle, Oglala Lakota and member of Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been named the recipient of the Emerging Tribal Writer Marcus Bear Eagle, Oglala Lakota and member of Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been named the recipient of the Emerging Tribal Writer Award. Bear Eagle’s winning entry, a one-act play set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is titled “Ake Kagli.” “The title means ‘to bring something home again,” explains Bear Eagle.

Dr. Richard Meyers, Coordinator of SDSU’s American Indian Studies Program, said, “Bear Eagle’s winning entry, a story that targets the Lakota Oyate as its audience, raises interesting questions. Who are a story’s intended readers? And, how does a Native writer bring reality into a proper context?”

Bear Eagle said he writes “to speak to our people who live in the world that is being portrayed. Often,” he continues, “the portrayal of our modern day lives [focuses] on how hopeless our circumstances seem.”

In his play, Bear Eagle said he tries to not use “shock value [that] is for mass audience.” Instead, he aims to portray the renewing interest in “healing and old-time traditions” that he sees on Pine Ridge. “This hope which naturally occurs within our people is what painted this story for me.”

Bear Eagle is a full-time student at Oglala Lakota College majoring in Lakota Studies with an emphasis on the Lakota language.