Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador 2015/16


I have many goals for my life right now. I knew from a young age that I wanted to graduate from college. When I was in elementary school, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I had dreams to go to Harvard Law. As I got older I realized that Law didn’t really interest me. I now want to be a cultural anthropologist. I hope to study at Oklahoma University. A few of my other goals before I finish high school are to go to a different country outside of the U.S. and Canada. I would also like to get on the honour roll at least twice. I have many more goals and I hope to accomplish them through hard work and dedication.

Throughout my life I have never drank alcohol or abused drugs. A drug and alcohol free lifestyle is something that I have always held great pride in. I have no intentions of doing either of these things. I live a traditional lifestyle by participating in different Dakota ceremonies such as sundance, yuwipi, memorials, and giveaways. During these ceremonies I also help with preparing and serving of the traditional meals. I love my Dakota side and try to embrace it as much as possible. I am very proud of my heritage and it will continue to influence my lifestyle until the day I die.

My family means the world to me. In my early years my mom was struggling to raise me. She worked long and hard to support us. She gave up drugs and alcohol to make a better life for us. When my mom was working long hours I would often be at a relative’s house. I spent many hours with my late grandpa Alden Pompana Sr. He was a full-blooded Dakota man who had been to residential school and had experienced many hardships. He was a kind man with traditional Dakota values that still influence our family today. My Nana and Papa were like another set of parents to me. I know I would not be where I am today without the good example they have sent for my mom and me.

As Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador, I will bring honor to missing and murdered indigenous women by talking about them every chance I get. I will not let them be forgotten. I will try to let as many people know about missing and murdered indigenous women and not let people make little of the problem. I will use my words to honor and bring awareness to all of the missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Alexa Winona Gabbard is the daughter of Michael and Delores Gabbard. She currently resides in Moorhead, Minnesota where she is in the 9th grade at Moorhead High School. Alexa is 14 years old. Alexa is Dakota from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and Ojibway from Northwest Angle. She also represents the Delaware tribe from Oklahoma.

Some of Alexa’s extra-curricular interests include theatre and speech. She also participates in pow wows and cultural ceremonies. Alexa is a very avid reader and can be found quite often with her nose in a book.