Meet Chuck
June 7, 2016

Haŋ Mitákuyepi, Čhaŋté waštéya napé čhiyúzapi. Čhetáŋ Lúta Wiŋ emáčiyapi. Oglála Lakȟóta Wíŋyaŋ hemáčha Kštó! Aŋpétu tópa, čhaŋwápe tȟo wí, Waníyetu Kektópawiŋǧe waŋží saŋm opáwiŋǧe napčíyuŋka saŋm wikčémna napčíyuŋka ake napčíyuŋka K’uŋ héhaŋ Matȟúŋpi. My name is Charlie Nicole Cuny and I am the youngest child of Toni Montileaux and Jerry Cuny. I come from Sunkawakan Mahpiya (Cloud Horse) and Zuya Nisksala (Little Warrior) Bands in Pejuta Haka District (Medicine Root District) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As a Red Cloud High School (Mahpiya Luta Owayawa) graduate and junior at the Institute of American Indian Arts, I’d like to promote higher education among American Indian youth and to serve as an ambassador for American Indian people. My goal is to inspire and influence more Native American youth to pursue post secondary opportunities and encourage them to return to their Tribal communities as future leaders. My long-term personal goal is to graduate from Arizona State University Herberger Art Institute with my Bachelor of Arts in the Arts and my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with the intent of becoming an Art Therapist. I believe that Art Therapy is a unique way to address the needs of at-risk youth on reservations. Suicide, drinking, and drug use seems to be the solution for many misunderstood adolescents. I would like to use Art Therapy as a creative outlet for adolescents to express themselves and to use it as a way to heal. I have faced a lot of adversities growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, such as alcoholism, drugs, and poverty. However, it has been these struggles and experiences, as well as artistic outlets, which have allowed me to push myself towards my own definition of success.