The Great Plains Writers’ Conference, in cooperation with South Dakota State University’s American Indian Studies Program and American Indian Education and Cultural Center, invites submissions to the first annual Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer Award. The award is meant to encourage tribal writers in the early phases of their writing lives and to honor those of extraordinary merit and promise.
Our first winner is Taté Walker of Sioux Falls, SD.
Walker is Mniconjou Lakota and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. She is cultural coordinator and supervises the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative program at Volunteers of America, Dakotas in Sioux Falls. Prior to her turn in nonprofit work, she was a reporter at regional newspapers for more than five years, and continues as a freelance journalist today. Three years ago, Taté founded Walker Imag(in)ing, a multi-media production company serving low-income youth and families across the Sioux Empire. Taté is a proud member of several area boards and committees, including the City of Sioux Falls’ Community Connections program, and the Sioux Falls Diversity Council. Taté and her husband, Dalton, have a 4-year-old daughter, Kimimila. More of Taté’s writings can be found at walkerwrackspurt.wordpress.com.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” says Walker. “I am excited to be in the company of such wonderful and recognized storytellers at this year’s conference, and eager to get their autographs. I wrote my story in response to the ongoing debate surrounding the Violence Against Women’s Act, which is an extremely important piece of legislation protecting women – especially tribal women – from abuses. One-third of all Native women will be raped in their lifetime. This is not a legacy for the Seventh Generation to inherit, and I felt a personal piece about surviving abuse was a good way to support VAWA, my daughter, and female warriors everywhere.”
Information on the 2014 award, which again will be open to enrolled tribal writers in the Great Plains region who have not yet published a book of creative writing, will be posted at the GPWC site by September 1. Its deadline will be January 1, 2014. There will be no application fee.