Bush Fellows announced, including four South Dakota residents
Lori Walsh and Tashina Banks Rama are two of the recipients from the South Dakota group.
Walsh is from Sioux Falls, she is the host of a radio show focused on discussing current issues and creating a space for related conversations to occur. She plans to further develop her skills to create communities of storytellers and less-combative ways of discussion with her grant.
“I’m still a journalist, and if I interview a lawmaker, or a senator, or the governor. People still want me to ask tough questions,” Walsh said. “They want me to be in that space on their behalf. And they want me to be in this other space where regular people are talking about their lives in ways that are healthy and healing.”
Tashina Banks Rama, from Pine Ridge is the Executive Vice President of Red Cloud Indian School and takes a personal approach with her work. While working to become a more fluent speaker of the Lakota language, she also looks to find ways of increasing interest in learning the language and culture.
“I’m really hopeful that I can use the fellowship as a time to really further my relationships in the community,” she explained. “That will hopefully deepen my own understanding of our traditions and our culture so that I can pass it on to my children, and they can pass it on to their children and so on.”
Janice Richards from Porcupine, S.D. and Erin Griffin from Sisseton, S.D. are the other two fellows from the state.
Richards is the Director of Oglala Lakota College Head Start Program. She has plans to pursue a master’s degree in organizational leadership and create a family and children’s wellness center rooted in healing communities with her grant.
Griffin is the American Indian College Fund Program Officer for Indigenous Education she plans to use her grant to finish her doctoral degree and increase her fluency of the Dakota language while finding ways to establish spaces for others to learn the language as well.
Fellows receive a grant of up to one hundred thousand dollars to help further their learnings and projects during the two-year period.