I’m trying to find my great grandmothers information, her name is Elsie. I know she was born in South Dakota

Dear Travis,

Thanks for reaching out. I hope I can help point you in the right direction to finding information about your grandmother.

It seems like you’re off to a good start with the information you have.

Ideally, asking your family members to point you in the right direction would be easiest. Perhaps this might be the perfect opportunity to reconnect. However, if this is not an option try talking to others who might have some information for you.

Start with an Internet search – a lot of tribes have official tribal websites where you can at least find a phone number to their tribal office. Give them a call. Most tribes have someone who can answer some questions for you. Ask about your grandmother and maybe someone in the community knows her or knows if she’s involved in any groups that might help you connect to her.

If you want to connect with your grandmother’s tribe and community, you can also go a step further and as the tribal office for youth events like; language classes, youth groups, community gatherings, in-school or after-school programs, elder lead groups, pow-wow/ dance groups, or anything else you could get involved in.

Once you start to make connections within the community and make an effort, things will open up, especially when you come with good intentions and respect. Keep this as your focus.

Best of luck to you. I think you are hearing your ancestor’s voices reaching out. Extend your hands and reach back.

Auntie Manda

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Topics: Culture and Language|Identity|Spirituality