Crow Nation's JoRee LaFrance named to nationwide UNITY 25 under 25 list

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — JoRee LaFrance, a woman who grew up in the Bighorns of Wyoming and Montana, has been honored as one of 25 great Native youth leaders nationwide. JoRee attended Tongue River Middle School and High School in Dayton, before transferring to school on the Crow Agency, Montana. She has been named one of the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” by the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. Dally had the privilege of catching up with JoRee over email, as she is a student at Dartmouth College. *Dally: On its website, UNITY explains that it recognizes "the achievements of Native youth leaders under the age of 25, who embody UNITY’s core mission and exudes living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being." How do you feel you exemplify that mission? Or how do you hope to?* *JoRee*: I think that living a balanced life is definitely a working progress and it is something I am developing every day. My own people inspire me everyday and they are the ones who are pushing me to become a better person, holistically. We are all working together to improve our lifestyles and I truly believe that feeding off those around you is the best way to create improvement. I believe that through all of my current and future work, each of these values are exemplified and integrated. Everything that I have done or am doing is influenced by the well being of my people and myself as we are trying to regain and live a balanced life. *Dally: Can you us tell how growing up as a member of the Crow Nation has shaped you into the person you are today? Do you feel you have a unique role in this region of the country? * *JoRee*: Yes, growing up as a Crow woman has definitely shaped the person that I have become. I feel as if everything I do is influenced by the actions and state of being of the Crow people especially as a culturally preserved and sovereign nation. I am specifically interested in the tribal energy development sector and the influence it has on the progress of tribal sovereignty. I believe that I have a role and it is a matter of time that, that role finds me. I am strong believer in the concept that everything happens for a reason and you will be put in the right situation at the right time for the right reasons. As a nation, the Crow people have come to and need to understand their individual roles and how it can be a collective process to the betterment of our people and tribe. I am only one person and I put confidence in the notion that we all have to work together, everyone is important in the movement towards a balanced life and the Crow nation. *Dally: You are at school right now, but do you hope to return home or take your talents to other places in the world? * *JoRee*: I know for a fact that I will return home but it is just a matter of when I will (permanently) return home. I will fully grasp the opportunities that may come my way and will use them as a tool and hope to gain as much experience as possible. As long as I am helping/assisting to the advancement of Indigenous communities, I am open to the opportunities, challenges, friendships, and lessons that will come with it. Working for my own people and being close to my loved ones would very ideal but, again, we will see where my path decides to take me. Congratulations, JoRee! Your home celebrates you. *Feature photo: Taken by Diana Volk h/t JoRee LaFrance / Pitchengine Communities* #dally #news