Word Warriors: An Interview with Maya Milk

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I am currently a senior at Lake Roosevelt High School as well as a freshman at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington. I am also Sicangu Lakota Sioux and have learned The Lakota Way all my life and am extremely blessed to have so many great teachers in my life. I am almost 18 years old and was born in Yankton, South Dakota and primarily grew up in Vermillion, South Dakota. Throughout high school I have taken many classes and participated in events that have shaped the public speaker I am today. I love speaking and talking in front of groups and also learning new things everyday in my college classes.

What was your proudest accomplishment this year?

This year I have obtained and overcame many obstacles in my life in 2016. I am most proud of how well I am doing and how much work I have put into my college classes while also being part time at my high school.

What motivates you?

I’d have to say that my future and my education motivates me the most. Knowing that the amount of work and time I contribute today will eventually pay off, this really assures me that I am doing something right.

If you could sit down with the decision makers of America, what would you tell them about Native America?

I would have to say that we are a very strong community and nation and we matter. Together we are united and we must not forget that we are still here and will always be here. I believe that a better future awaits for Native America and there must be many changes we must make to ensure the safety and security for our Native children to strive for a better future for everyone in America.

What’s the best advice you have for college-bound Native students?

College can be a wonderful place for many Native students and there are many opportunities I believe every Native student should take advantage of. If you have a dream, set up goals and tasks to accomplish that dream. Do everything in your power to make sure you have a great future and do it because you want to, not because someone told you you have to.