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Today I had the great pleasure of interviewing our next Elder, Lois Demarr, a jolly ole soul who lives to love people and the rez. Although her travels have been many, she has absolutely no regrets when it comes to returning home to the rez. While this interview might be a bit short, for the savvy reader who takes light to the details, will encounter a wealth of knowledge from this joyful soul….


LCO News: Have you lived at LCO your whole life?


Lois: No, I’ve lived in several places. Iowa, Washington, Oklahoma, Missouri. Here, I lived in New Post / Blueberry.


LCO News: Do you have any fond memories of growing up on the rez? I have a lot of them! I remember moving back here to the rez. Living here, everything I did seems to be a good memory on the Rez. All my relatives; I just enjoy being on the Rez.


LCO News: Who were your friends on the rez?


Lois: My first good friend was Mary Rose Fleming. Also Sister Felissa. I thought everybody was my friend to be honest. I do not have any enemies, that I know of, he he he. I don’t have a problem with anybody, but if somebody has a problem with me, it’s their problem.


LCO News: What did you love the most about growing up on the rez?


Lois: Oh, I just love being around everybody and being in the area. The way of life. Learning about everything, that being Native is important.


LCO News: Did you realize that when you were younger?


Lois: No, of course we don’t realize a lot of things then.


LCO News: Please describe your education and what you did with it.


Lois: I graduated from Haskel High School and I graduated College from LCO where I took Native American Studies.


LCO News: What were some of the jobs you’ve held throughout the years or your career?


Lois: I worked at Abbott Laboratories in Illinois for the longest, then worked at the Casino as a Hostess when I moved here. I also worked at the Funeral Home. I had nothing to do with the deceased, I just helped the people that ran the place. When someone would come in and inquire about a coffin or something like that. What I did, I liked. They were nice to me. They were all good.


LCO News: Who inspired you the most throughout your lifetime?


Lois: My Mother. She inspired me and everything I know and have came from my Mother.


LCO News: Were you involved in the Community then or now?


Lois: Not really, no I really wasn’t involved in the community. If something came up I just helped out or worked or whatever. I did make something for Father. I made a vest, a beaded vest. Boy that took a long time.


LCO News: What are some of your fondest memories of your workplace or community?


Lois: Well like I said, I have good memories about everything. I liked where I worked, wherever I worked. I just liked working and being around other people and helping other people.


LCO News: Can you tell us about your family life; siblings, children, grandchildren etc.?


Lois: I lived with my grandparents because my parents worked up in the woods. They didn’t want me there in the woods, so I stayed with my Grandma and Grandpa. Then when my Grandma died, I didn’t want to move home. So, I stayed with my Grandpa for quite a while, and I remember he used to braid my hair before going to school. Also, my Grandparents didn’t want me going back home for fear I would be put in a boarding school.

We used to go to the sugar bush with my Grandparents. We would go up in a horse and buggy. Grandpa used to make our beds because he was a carpenter. Grandpa made me a little boat cause we lived there right by the river in Signor. He made me that boat cause I liked the water. They would take me up and down in that little boat, always hanging on to it of course, and I know I had a paddle, it was probably just a stick.


LCO News: How old were you then?


Lois: Oh my goodness, I was pretty darn young, I can vaguely remember any of this. But I do remember this; my Grandparents were the best people in the world, just like my Parents.


LCO News: Do you have any siblings?

Lois: I had two brothers, I don’t even know my family anymore, two sisters that are left.


LCO News: Do you have any hobbies?

Lois: Reading is about the only thing I did. Beadwork, I either gave it away or sold it. I remember I made a cigarette case one time. I remember that! It was really pretty and I sold it for five bucks! I’ll never forget that. It was really nice, the best I remember. Now I wouldn't sell it for 140 dollars. A lot of work in those things.


LCO News: What is one thing that you’ve learned here at LCO over the years?


Lois: That I like living on the rez, since I moved back here.


LCO News: What advice would you share with the young ones of today?


Lois: Listen to your parents, really. I’d like to see the young ones learn how to say thank you. Oh yeah, I wish these young girls would quit having babies so young, they’re babies having babies. The biggest thing I don’t like on the rez is when they don’t know who the father is.

Well then, as you can see, this Elder has been around, and not just around, but around for a while. It’s truly refreshing to see someone as joyful and jolly as Lois Demarr in a world that today seems to have gone mad, and perhaps if we read between the lines, we might pick up some small degree of knowledge in how to have her positive outlook on life. We sincerely offer our gratitude for this interview as we realize how difficult it is for Lois to get around nowadays. May her journeys be many to come and may her following years to come be as great as is her heart.


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