Mitakuyepi, My name is April Matson (They/Them); I am an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate and the Athabaskan Tribe of Alaska and identify as Two-Spirit. I grew up in Rapid City, SD but currently reside in Sioux Falls, SD. I have an incredibly supportive partner named Dylan and two children, Gloria age 9, and Regina age 7. I currently work as an Outreach Coordinator for South Dakota Urban Indian Health, but my passion lies with Rock the Rez, where I serve as the Executive Director. Rock the Rez is a weeklong summer camp that serves girls, LBGTQ+, Two- Spirit, and Trans youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
I strongly believe in healing historical trauma and integrating culture into everything I do. Through Rock the Rez, I partner with women and gender-diverse community leaders who come to camp as volunteers, workshop leaders, and friends. By bringing in a woman’s perspective on cultural practices, the campers can best relate and feel that these practices are more accessible to them. The campers find their voices through learning the language, smudging, wokpans, and praying, along with empowerment through learning musical instruments.