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Updates from JoRee LaFrance and her “Apsàalooke Voices and Stories” Dreamstarter project

3/1/17 in Crow Agency, MT under Dreamstarter






Crow Agency, MT

With the school year in full effect and primetime basketball, students have been working on their respective books. Inkscape tutorials have been coming along and students are starting to feel comfortable with the software. All of the students have identified what stories they are going to use for their books. Their simplified story lines are created and are currently working on the translations into Crow language. The books are on a wide range of stories and have brought particular interest to the students. Here is a list of some of the stories we have going:

Story Student
Big Metal Ruben Falls Down
Lodge Lining & Spring Boy Robert Pretty on Top
Why we wear strings on our moccasin's Amaya Frost
Two Faces Tommy Pretty Paint
Lost Boy & The Little People Cedar Chase
Morning Star Son of the Sun Amberly White Man Runs Him
Burnt Face Legend Tameron Medicine Bull
Old Man Coyote & The Whirlwind Kaylor Robinson
Story about Thomas LaForge & BLH Matthew Laforge
How the Crow got the Buffalo Kellie Old Elk
Julia (about her great grandmother) Braylee Armajo
Story about her Grandfatehr Dela


Here are two students who shared their thoughts and gratitude for the project:

“The vision behind Apsàalooke Voices and Stories helped me reconnect with family to talk about the successful and joyful life of my grandma. I am writing my story on the life of the late Julia Not Afraid who is a very cultural, ceremonial, and important person in our lives. I was able to reconnect with family members who I have not seen or spoken to in a very long time or not at all. I am thankful to be able to be a part of this project.” – Braylee Armajo, St. Labre Indian Catholic High School. 







“So far this project has opened my eyes and made me realize many things about myself and my people. This project personally stuck me because I like how I can learn more about the stories in my culture and it has helped me to become more away about finishing projects. I chose the story “Lost Boy and the Little People,” because I grew up in Pryor knowing that the Little People are real. I just thought it'll be nice to do a story on Lost Boy and the Little People.” – Cedar Chase, St. Labre Indian Catholic High School 





At Crow Agency Public Schools, we are working with students who have started to create books using water color paint and paper. Their stories are associated with their Indian names or something/someone that is important to their life. I enjoyed looking at some of the illustrations made by some students. Their creativity and excitement is empowering! We are partnering with the Yellowstone Art Museum with plans to host a gallery at the end of the school year with the students’ finished products. All of the students are continuing to work hard on their books and we are hoping for a productive rest of the school year!

With the amazing help and donations from Running Strong for American Indian Youth, I had the opportunity to give away winter supplies to students at Crow Agency Public Elementary School. Again, I am forever grateful and motivated by the love and thanks that I received from the students. With the surplus supplies, we donated them to Crow Social Services Program and Lodge Grass Elementary. Special thank you to all of those that helped with the giveaway and to Running Strong for American Indian Youth!   


Learn more about JoRee & her Dreamstarter Project!

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