Currently, Apsáalooke community has a deep connection and care for our lands and waters. Deepening the knowledge of our traditional foods and medicines, reconnecting to our homeland, and building community reaffirms our sovereignty as Indigenous people.

Tillie Stewart

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Tillie Stewart, 25, comes from a line of powerful women. She grew up on the Crow reservation in Montana, and is a member of the Big Lodge clan, and a child of the Piegan clan.

Tillie is currently attending Montana State University, pursuing an education in Microbiology and Environmental Health with hopes of finding solutions to environmental disparities that threaten Native communities. She is passionate about empowering the next generation of Crow women, like her daughter, and partnered with the Bridge Foundation and  2016 Running Strong Dreamstarter JoRee LaFrance to create the Biawaatchaache (Good Woman) Collective – a group dedicated to strengthening the voices of young Apsáalooke women and reconnecting them the land.

The Biawaatchaache Collective, Tillie’s dream, holds space for members to learn about the connection between culture and environment from knowledge-holders, participate in workshops to increase environmental literacy, and engage in opportunities to develop solutions to the environmental injustices around them.

“Environmental injustices that have impacted our community have included the theft of lands and resources, Yellowtail Dam, Crow water settlement, US v. Montana, agricultural contamination by non-tribal members, and illegal burning of dumps. These challenges are great but that is where we come in and take a stand against these injustices. I cannot help but ground myself in the midst of the chaos and know that there is so much beauty to celebrate. Despite these challenges and work ahead, we are seeing so many people step up in the community to address these issues that we face.”

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