|Ellowyn sews a star quilt for her family memorial in 2007|
By Trace Hentz
Oglala Lakota Elder Ellowyn Locke, in her mid-60s, has been on dialysis since diabetes took away her kidney function over 10 years ago. Three times a week, from 6 to 10 am, Ellowyn has dialysis to clean her blood, which essentially keeps her alive. There is no elder transport in Porcupine, South Dakota where she lives, so she uses her small monthly social security check to pay for gas and necessities like food. She has no pension from the years she taught the Lakota language in the rez schools before she was laid off in the 1990s. Since then she sewed star quilts for a living and sells her handmade jewelry and horsehair dolls to German tourists in the summer months.