Lori is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at White Earth, Mississippi Band.
Lori was instrumental in the development of SAIGE from an idea to a working organization, and was the first elected Chairperson of the founding Board of Directors. She has served at the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining for 18 years as an Audio Visual Production Specialist, and has been their American Indian Special Emphasis Program Manager since 1992. She served on the local Federal Executive Board American Indian Program Council as both Secretary and Chairperson. She has received the Secretary of the Interior’s Equal Opportunity Award (1996), and an Excellence in Government Award (1998) from the Denver Federal Executive Board. Lori helped to produce three joint interagency and tribal conferences on Sacred Sites issues in 2001-2004.
Lori was raised in the Denver, Colorado area where she still resides and is actively involved in the intertribal urban American Indian community. She earned her BA at Metropolitan State College in Denver and an MFA at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was the first to graduate with an advanced degree in Media Arts in their Arts Department. She is an award-winning independent documentary videographer who has shown her work both nationally and internationally. In 2004, she organized the Native Peoples Political Alliance, (NPPA) a volunteer non-partisan get-out-the-vote effort formed to increase the voter registration and election participation of Indians in the Denver/Boulder area. In 2006, she received the Inspiration Award from Boulder’s Safehouse Alliance for Non-Violence for her contributions to the community. She is currently Chair of the small local non-profit organization, Valmont Butte Heritage Alliance, dedicated to the protection and preservation of this sacred place in Colorado.
It has been my greatest honor to have been a SAIGE founder. My vision of this organization has been greatly surpassed by the influx of new and enthusiastic members with fresh ideas and perspectives, and some really dedicated and hardworking Board members. Several have told me that even with everything going on in their lives, SAIGE is their “heart”, their priority. This is very touching to me. I have seen this in practice when sacrifice is called for and there is no hesitation. I am both proud and humbled to have served with people of such integrity, who deeply believe in the mission of SAIGE. After being Secretary for four years, I would like the opportunity to serve as your SAIGE Vice-Chair. This would offer me a way to help further our visibility in the private sector as well as in government, and to increase our outreach to the educational community. Ultimately, I would like to create a strong cornerstone for capacity building within SAIGE, since we are still such a young organization. This would include, but not be limited to, forming or strengthening relationships with like organizations, more researching and applying for grants, and eventually positioning SAIGE to take its place in the Combined Federal Campaign for long term continued financial health. My priority would be developing a sustainable infrastructure that is flexible enough to change with growth, and yet stable enough to withstand difficulties. SAIGE’s Youth Track is a very valuable resource for us, and the inspiration in seeing these young people every year and listening to their dreams renews and deepens my commitment to creating opportunities for the betterment of their lives. SAIGE can become a valuable networking source to help support them, a family that welcomes them and works for their benefit and a pool of our leaders of tomorrow. I would like to work to gain more resources for the Youth Track. Thank you for your consideration.