Anpetu wasté kin yuhapi maLakotas na Dakotas, Francine Red Willow Richards emaciyapi
“Good day my friends and allies, my name is Francine Red Willow Richards” is the English translations of the Lakota language used by my tribe, the Oglala Lakota Sioux. I have lived on and off the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation located in South Dakota throughout my life.
My dad was in the army and my mom has always worked with a national tribal health agency called the Indian Health Services. So I was an all around government housing kid that traveled fairly around the world including 6 states, 15 house relocations, 13 schools and a sister per army base where my dad was stationed at. I graduated when I was 16 years old and have been working and going to community college ever since. The past 3 years have taught me struggle and hardwork go hand-in-hand with the values of networking and support from both inner and extensive social circles. I have learned all these efforts and contributions are what enhances skills and strengthens perseverance to finish any opportunities life has to offer.
Currently, I am on summer break from my second year in college. I am a youth mentor on my reservation through the summer when I’m not being a full time nursing student. When I joined Ogallala Commons, I already had in mind of positioning myself as a productive role in my community. I see myself in creating awareness and access to health and wellness, and recreation and leisure.
I look forward in representing Ogallala Commons by passing on support to the youth and establishing a sense of place where community members can come together in unity.