Lori Pourier grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe. She heads First Peoples Fund (FPF), a 17-year-old national Native nonprofit that works with culture bearers and artists in Indigenous communities. FPF provides professional training workshops for Native artists and works with national community development finance institutions to train business coaches on how to work with Native artists. FPF also provides fellowship for Native artists to help them grow and improve their businesses.
Pourier has been involved in the arts, social justice, and community development fields for 27 years. Her early work began at First Nations Development Institute and the International Indigenous Women’s Network, and she has served as president of the First Peoples Fund since 1999. Dedicated to a vision of strengthening Native communities through culture and arts for much of her life, Pourier focuses her efforts on helping to enhance Native communities and bringing new philanthropic resources to Native artists and culture bearers directly. She received the Center for Social Innovation Fellowship at Stanford Graduate School of Business and was recently named one of four Native women leading change in Native communities by the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation noted that Pourier is “a leader in the field—not just for Native arts and culture—but arts and culture period. She is the go-to person for the ‘creative economy’ in Indian Country."
Pourier holds an MS from Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Business. She lives in Rapid City, South Dakota.