'The pursuit of a dream heals broken wings,' an interview with Lakota Olympian Billy Mills

Vincent Schilling

In an interview with Vincent Schilling, Billy Mills discusses the legacy behind 'Dreamstarters,' a look back after over 50 years, and what it's like to be Billy

As Indian Country Today previously reported, Gold medal-winning Olympian Billy Mills, Lakota, hosted his fifth annual Dreamstarters closing ceremony on Tuesday night in Alexandria Virginia just outside of Washington D.C. to wrap up a four-day Dreamstarter Academy in which Native youth were awarded $10,000 grants to pursue their dreams.

For the past five years, Native youth have applied annually for the chance to be awarded $10,000 in support of fulfilling their dreams affecting Indian Country.

In an interview with Indian Country Today, Billy Mills described the legacy behind his work for his IndianYouth.org website and the Native youth Dreamstarters effort.

During the interview with Indian Country Today associate editor Vincent Schilling, Mills talked about the importance of helping to fulfill the dreams of others, how people can create miracles from their deeds, how he and his wife Pat want to leave a "takeaway" for youth and how his father left him a lifelong message that "The pursuit of a dream heals broken wings."

See related coverage: Olympian Billy Mills honors 10 Native youth $10,000 grantees at Dreamstarters ceremony

Billy Mills Dreamstarters - Photo Vincent Schilling (2)
Photo: Native youth Dreamstarters Carl Petersen, Cheyenne River Sioux and Kevin Belin, Navajo hold up a prized Pendleton blanket honoring Billy Mills. Mills was speaking in the background and thanking the crowd for honoring Native youth. (Photo: Vincent Schilling)
Billy Mills Dreamstarters - Photo Vincent Schilling (4)
The 2018-2019 Dreamstarters: Front row (left to right) Carl Petersen, Cheyenne River Sioux; David Fraser, Oglala Lakota; Hope Gamble, Navajo; Taylor Eddie, Navajo; Joshua Smith, Osage; and Kevin Belin, Navajo. Back row (left to right) Jacob Crane, Tsuut’ina Nation; Aukea Ka’aekuahiwi, Hawaiian; Olympian Billy Mills, Lakota; Parrish Pipestem, Eastern Band of Cherokee; and Freddy Gipp, Apache Tribe of Oklahoma. (Photo: Vincent Schilling)
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Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com