A Letter from Our Founder
I am often asked where the inspiration for People of Earth Matter (POEM) came from, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment or the exact source.
Perhaps it began during my childhood. Like many Native Americans, my siblings and I grew up in poverty. Our single mother worked tirelessly to support us and provide for our most basic needs. I started working at a very young age, picking up odd jobs and helping out around the neighborhood. I quickly developed a sense for both business and the value of the community relationships that have continued to serve me throughout my professional career.
It may have been my first appointment as CEO of a tribal enterprise. In an instant, my responsibilities went beyond securing the welfare of my own family, to securing that of many families and many generations on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The pride and humility I felt in assuming that position have likewise stayed with me over the years.
What was originally conceived as a modest initiative to encourage Native economic development is rapidly evolving into a far-reaching, inclusive enterprise that proudly engages with strategic partners of all backgrounds.
We at POEM strongly believe that shared success is the most enduring. In all our endeavors, both current and forthcoming, we seek forward-looking opportunities and collaborations that enrich not only ourselves and our partners, but our broader communities and our world. As someone who comes from a culture that has been historically excluded from its country’s dominant society and commerce, I believe this mission is now more vital, and more viable, than ever.
CEO—Mandaree Enterprises, LLC