by Karen Psiaki
You can never predict the faces of the strangers who will help you in life. In the case of Beverly Warne those faces were many, unexpected, and surprising at every turn. Without them, she would never have had the opportunity to become who she is: a nurse, an educator, and a program coordinator and advisor at SDSU College of Nursing, Rapid City, accountable for fulfilling on a Bush Foundation grant to increase the number of Native American nurses in South Dakota.
Beverly came into the world in a family encampment beside a creek near the town of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, in April of 1939. Her mother and auntie, her mother’s sister-in-law, were young Lakota women both pregnant and likely to deliver at about the same time. The two young women wanted to move to Pine Ridge to give birth, perhaps because there was a doctor or a clinic there. These medical details Bev does not know. But grandma’s values prevailed: the family did move from their land to the vicinity of Pine Ridge, but both babies – first cousins and both of them girls – were born within weeks of each other at that peaceful family encampment by the creek.
Bev was born Beverly Mae Stabber. Her mother’s family was from Manderson, her father’s from Kyle. Beverly remembers the land owned by her maternal grandparents where her parents also had a home. She dwells on her grandparents’ teachings and the influence they had on her. She was raised and nurtured by that extended family.