I’m Hallie Riggs, the new Clinical Director with the Simply Smiles Children’s Village.
I want to first express my gratitude for the opportunity to learn from and work with the Lakota children and families on the CRST Reservation. It is a tremendous honor and a great responsibility. As a lifelong student, I look forward to connecting, listening, and learning.
My passion for the work I do lies in helping children to feel safe so that they can explore their full potential.
For the past decade, my social work experience has centered on fostering resiliency in the presence of childhood trauma. I have worked closely with children, both nationally and abroad who have faced tremendous adversity: abuse and neglect, family separation, poverty, violence, addiction, grief, and hopelessness. These same children have repeatedly shown me the impact that one caring connection with a safe adult can have on them, proving that when children feel safe and loved, they thrive.
The prioritization and support of Native caregivers raising Native children will be the cornerstone of our work with the Simply Smiles Children’s Village. We share a vision of supporting Native caregivers to help their community’s children transcend trauma and grow into healthy, resilient, proud Lakota leaders.
I am committed to companioning with children, families, and members of the CRST community, and to supporting caregivers who, through the practice of the Lakota values of Wacantognaka (generosity), Wotitakuye (kinship), Wacintaka (fortitude), and Woksape (wisdom), will teach me a great deal.