Louise Defender Wilson of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota,
was one of four recent recipients of the Jennifer Easton Community
Spirit Award, given by the First Peoples Fund to honor artists who
embody "Collective Spirit," those activities which sustain
the fabric of a community.
Peoples Fund, based in Rapid City, S.D., celebrates native artists
who exemplify indigenous values of generosity, wisdom, respect,
integrity, strength, fortitude and humility.
Wilson was awarded the annual fellowship, established in 1999, for
her work in the traditional art of storytelling. The fellowship
carries a gift of $5,000.
recognized as "culture-bearers" are nominated by members
of their own tribes. Honorees are selected by an independent panel
of American Indian cultural leaders.
other recipients were singer-songwriter Theresa Kenkiokoktha Fox
of New York, Akwesasne Mohawk; basket maker Bud Lane III of Oregon,
Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians, and ash and sweetgrass basket
maker Theresa Secord, Penobscot Indian Nation.
Wilson has received awards from the National Endowment of the Arts
with the National Heritage Fellowship, a Bush Foundation Artist
Fellowship, North Dakota Governor's Award for the Arts, the H. Council
Trenholm Memorial Award from the national Education Association
for Human and Civil Rights. She also was honored at the National
American Music Awards with the Best Spoken Word Award for four CDs