2019 Winner: LaVerne White Bear

LaVerne is an enrolled member of the Ft. Peck Assiniboine Sioux tribe of north eastern Montana and a full-time student at Sisseton Wahpeton College, with a focus on  behavioral science.

 “I hope to become a therapist at the end of my education. My heart is with the women and children who have experienced post Traumatic stress disorder of which I am a survivor.  I am a traditional Dakota quill work artist I have been involved with the indigenous visionaries cohort through the American Indian college fund for two years and I have been researching and developing my quill work skill for approximately five years. My hope is to do what I can to assist in revitalizing and preserving the art form of quill work throughout Plains tribes for future generations. I didn’t view myself as a writer much less a poet, it was not something that I had ever imagined that I could do. I took a required English course with an instructor by the name of Tracy Rosenberg who helped me to develop and understand my writing style she helped to open up a whole new world to me in healing through written word. I will forever be grateful to my ancestors, my children and to Tracy for guidance. Mitakuye Owasin (we are all related)-this is our saying.”