Native American Entrepreneurship 1 - Page 14

Hope

Eppler-Abeyta

I am Hope Eppler-Abeyta prideful to be Eastern Shoshone the granddaughter of Chief Washakie. I was raised on the beautiful Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. At a young age I was gifted and taught the talents of my heritage. I feel it is my responsibility to carry on the culture and traditions of my tribe and family.

I learned growing up about my tribe from many Uncles, Aunts, Elders and my Grandmother, Nelli Washakie. I am very passionate about designing historical beadwork and regalia. Every piece that I make has a story that was told to me and is meaningful. I work in my home and my 4 children help me to create art throughout the process we pray over every item as it is from the heart and a gift from our family to yours. It is important that I pass this legacy on to my family and the youth in our community. I have worked in the schools on the Reservation for 19 years the entire time that I taught students I learned more from them than one could ever imagine.

Growing up at Fort Washakie my family was involved in many ceremonial events. My Uncles are spiritual leaders in the community and as a young child we were to be seen but not heard this was so we could learn. I made a promise to my family to carry on our traditions and to bring honor to our prideful heritage. I feel very blessed and privileged to have had so many amazing teachers throughout life and I am inspired to bring awareness to the culture that was raised, knowing as the circle of life. There is a purpose for everything that the Native American’s believed. My ancestors are the most respectful and humble people I have ever known. The purpose of my business is to tell a story to bless and to become a blessing selling culturally inspired beadwork and jewelry nationally.