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Necklace from the Akta Lakota Museum Shopping Center

Linda J. Thompson
Wicopi Waste Winyan (Good Star Woman)

(b. 1949)

Linda Thompson was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and came home to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation with her parents when she was about one. Thompson is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Her first home was a log house near her paternal grandparents’ home. The family later moved to the Lower Brule community where she has lived most of her life.

Thompson grew up with her parents on their reservation cattle ranch. Because there were no boys in the family, she helped with the ranch operation. She became an excellent horsewoman.

The family enjoyed rodeo, and Thompson competed in barrel racing, pole bending and horsemanship. She graduated from the eighth-grade at Lower Brule Day School and went to high school in Reliance, South Dakota. She married in 1965 and is the mother of five children.

In the years following Thompson’s marriage, she was a grocery store clerk, a gravel pit guard, a motel manger, cocktail waitress, assistant manager of a retail liquor store, a secretary, a staff assistant and an administrative assistant.

In 1978, she enrolled at the Barnes Business College in Denver, Colorado and graduated with a diploma in Advanced Secretarial/Legal. In 1994, she returned to school and graduated from Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota with an Associate in the Science of Business Administration Degree. She has since retired from the Indian Health Service and now works exclusively on her many art forms.

Art has always been interested Thompson. She began sewing her own clothing when she was 14. She also learned to crochet, embroider, bead, make dolls and Native American Regalia. Using beadwork to decorate is her favorite art form. She has done extensive research in the areas of quilling, beadwork and leather work to ensure what she produces is culturally correct.

She makes dolls which she calls the “Lakota Spirit of the North.” The Native American culture does not have a being they call Santa Claus. The nearest thing to Santa Claus would be what their culture calls the “Spirit of the North.”


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