Jennifer Weston

CO-DIRECTOR, LAKOTA WELL-BEING PROJECT, STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION, NORTH & SOUTH DAKOTA

Jennifer Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock) is a writer, producer, nonprofit leader, and fundraiser who has worked for the past 25 years with Tribal community programs focused on environmental justice, Indigenous education, and language revitalization. Recently, she directed the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (2013-2021) prior to joining Lakota Well-Being Project organizing in fall 2020. From 2008-2012, Weston managed Cultural Survival’s endangered languages program in Cambridge, MA, building a network among 350+ Indigenous communities, serving as researcher and producer for the 2011 documentary WE STILL LIVE HERE: Âs Nutayuneân, and the film’s companion website, OurMotherTongues.org. Weston also worked as associate producer on the PBS documentary series WE SHALL REMAIN, and as a correspondent for the Lakota Nation Journal. As a student and staffer at Brown University, she developed Native studies curricula and community programs to support Native student retention and worked as a research assistant on Native youth projects focused on cultural resilience. Weston trained as a journalist with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters in Providence, RI, the founding editor of Indian Country Today, and a Vision Maker Media apprenticeship at WGBH-Boston and Makepeace Productions.

Weston has lectured, presented films and diversity training at numerous universities, tribal colleges, community organizations, and international language symposia. From 2014 – 2017 she co-designed and led the course, “Native American Women in North America: Indigenous Mother Tongues, Leadership and Self-Determination,” for the UMass-Boston Civic Engagement Scholarship Initiative. She is also a proud 2019 Boston Bridges Fellow at Boston University and Hebrew College. She has served the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a grant writer, staffer to the tribal chairman, and environmental protection programs manager. Jennifer sits on the board of the Defenders of the Water School and is an active learner of Lakxotiyapi volunteering with the Lakota Language Reclamation Project, both based in Standing Rock’s Bear Soldier District.