Airport Art: Dawnee LeBeau
In September of 2020, in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dawnee LeBeau was selected to lead a youth mentorship through a special program from Racing Magpie, a local Lakota arts organization in Rapid City. Through the one-month residency/mentorship, she worked closely with Sara Collins and Ashten Ganje, two youth from the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. They worked in a supportive mutual learning setting to learn more about photography, community consent, relationship building, creativity, storytelling, and themselves.
Dawn E. “Dawnee” LeBeau is a member of the Oóhenuŋpa Itázipčo Tetoŋwaŋ bands of the Lakota Nation. She resides on the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation in
South Dakota with her two wakanyeja (children) and Tiošpaye (family).
Dawnee is passionate about visual storytelling (photography), gardening, and plant relatives; and her work supports the amplification of indigenous Lakota wellness, Lakota language, and Lakota cultural values.
Dawnee holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Science from Oglala Lakota College. She has served as a fellow with the First Peoples Fund for the Artist in Business Leadership and Cultural Capital Fellowships; she is a 2019-2020 cohort member with the South Dakota Change Network; and she is a 2020-21cohort member with the Creative Community Leadership Institute. Dawnee has also been a mentee with the Seed Seva Mentorship and the Native Food and Culinary Mentorship. She has also participated in the Gardener and Home Horticulture program with the SDSU Extension Master Gardener. She is a current awardee of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Lift Program.