Indigenous Program Director
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in rural North Carolina at Appalachian State University. Trained in Trauma focused care and the beautiful way of White Bison and The Red Road to Recovery. Over my career, I have worked with the disease of addiction and that truma which it is attached too. I also have a long history in the field of youth awareness, so I have been able to see firsthand where the untreated symptoms end. Some in a very beautifully way others well you know.. That is not how the story has to end;
Growing up, I am from South Dakota, in my younger years I spoke to the critical need for gravesite protection laws in and throughout Illinois. I was mentored in my native culture and teachings by my father and his extended family. I am a proud member of the Lakota Nation, and have worked with many other tribal communities over the years to bring awareness of substance abuse issues. Now I focus my energies on helping the next generation. I am still active in bringing about awareness to aboriginal issues and enjoy spending time with my family and practicing my skills as an artist.
I have found the connection of healing through my love for Harley Davidsons and ride every chance I get. See my father was a Mechanic when he would come home, I remember the smell of Gas and Oil. His strong hands covered in oil from a hard day’s work. It has never been about the Name Harley Davidson, I love the Brotherhood. The real reason for me is every time I start one of my bikes. It is about the smell; Reminds me of my dad.
How I came to be in this field
Well, as a lot of people, I was looking to get into a field where I would hope to make a difference. I started out as direct care staff at a hospital emergency room. It was a very fast paced environment and I saw so many things that I wish I could forget. Many of the people that came into the emergency room could have been helped before they even got to the hospital. The hospital I worked at had a residential treatment campus, that was associated with it, I was asked by the director of the campus if I wanted to come and work for him directly with the people they served. That is where I started at and I moved on from there.
A favorite saying:
“Justice is not a flexible tool. Unless we all do our part to ensure that justice is applied equally to all human beings, we are a party to its abuse.” — Leonard Peltier, Native American political prisoner