JoRee LaFrance is a doctoral student at the University of Arizona. She comes from the Apsáalooke (Crow) nation and from the Greasy Mouth clan; she is a child of Ties in the Bundle clan. She was born in Crow Agency, Montana, and was raised in Wyola, Montana, in the Mighty Few district. She runs her own program, Apsáalooke Voices and Stories, that works with Apsáalooke youth to publish a children’s book that they write and illustrate based on their own Apsáalooke names. She also executed the Apsáalooke Women’s Creative Circle Project that collaborated with Indigenous-owned B.Yellowtail to provide tools and supplies and teach a free sewing workshop. The workshop focused on designing and making contemporary clothing items influenced by Apsáalooke traditional colors and designs for her community members. She collaborated with B.Yellowtail on the Native Wellness Community Gathering – a free healing and wellness workshop with a traditional meal for Apsáalooke and Northern Cheyenne members to attend.
Her Apsáalooke name is Iichiinmaaáatchilash, which means “Fortunate with Horses.” On her maternal side, she is a Whiteclay, Tobacco, Horn and Bear Claw. On her paternal side, she comes from the LaFrance, Knows His Gun, Good Eagle and Spang families. Her full last name is White Clay On The Forehead, which comes from her great-great-great grandpa, who used white clay as his medicine when he went to battle. LaFrance is the seventh generation of Chief Pretty Eagle, the last principal chief of the Apsáalooke Nation, and one of the first five Apsáalooke delegation members to travel to Washington, D.C.
She graduated in June 2017 from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Sciences and Native American Studies. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, where she expects to complete her doctorate in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona.