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2017-03-23 / Front Page

Janis Named OLC Student Of The Year


Darrin Janis, right, pictured here with OLC speech coach Whitney Thorpe PINE RIDGE -- Darin Janis of Pine Ridge has been named the 2017 Oglala Lakota College student of the year.

The Oglala Lakota College stands as a cornerstone institution on the Oglala Lakota Nation. Each year the college helps to sponsor a an award the recognizes one of their outstanding students. This year’s award was given to a Pine Ridge resident who plans to use the recognition to promote a positive message for all.

“I wanted to do something that would inspire LGBT people to go out and do things. I wanted to show that it is ok for us to get involved and have to worry about hiding, getting beat up or feeling uncomfortable,” said Janis.

Janis says that that the environment fostered within the Oglala Lakota College Lakota Studies department has contributed to his willingness to express his identity as an LGBT person.

“I think that the reason that the Lakota Studies program has been so welcoming to me is they understand the role that the Winkte played in Lakota culture throughout history,” said Janis. “My grandpa “Boob” Janis always told us that in Lakota society that there were no throwaways. That everybody had a role in the community.”

Janis is currently majoring in communications and Lakota Studies and has compiled a GPA of 3.69.

“My plan is to pursue my Masters in Creative Writing,” said Janis.

Janis has had multiple stories published in the Tribal College Journal and hopes to continue to produce writing for distribution once he completes his degrees at OLC.

“I do a lot of writing and and stories,” said Janis.

Janis’ past publication have been creative works that have sought to describe reservation life through the lens of an LGBT person.

For more information about Janis’ work please visit the Tribal College Journal.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

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