JoRee LaFrance ’17 Preserves Native American Stories

Growing up on a ranch on the Crow reservation in Montana, surrounded by family—her mother, father, twin sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents—JoRee LaFrance ’17 knows the power of storytelling.

“My grandmother, Joan Horn, has always been the person we all go to,” LaFrance says. She recently began using her smart phone to record her grandmother’s tales. Her favorite is about a boy raised by bighorn sheep.

“His stepfather pushes him over a cliff, but he gets caught on a tree and hears voices talking in Crow,” LaFrance explains. The “voices” belong to bighorn sheep who end up raising the boy until he can be returned to his family. The moral: Speaking your native language, and living in harmony with animals, can save your life.

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