Stormie Perdash posing on Kings Beach at Lake Tahoe, CA. Photo by Jarrette Werk

Social Media Star in a Small Town

Instagram Following: 13k+ Town Population: >2k

Stormie Perdash, 21, enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, is a rising social media star from the small town of Ronan, Montana. Perdash has a made a following for herself using Instagram, @stormieperdashian, with over 13 thousand followers. That number continues to grow daily.

Perdash joined Instagram in 2013 to promote her Native American style bead work, regalia, and of course the occasional selfie. After running for Miss Indian World in 2016, her following sky rocketed to nearly 10k. Now that she has this social media platform, Perdash found her voice.

“I want to use my platform to bring awareness to Native American issues,” Perdash said. “Being that I have seven times as many people who follow me on Instagram than are in my actual town, I have the ability to shed light on issues that are common in Native American communities.”

Now, Perdash has bigger plans for herself. After completing her undergraduate degree, she wants to attend Law School, with an emphasis on American Indian Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Perdash designs and makes all of her dresses and beadwork. Each dress takes her about a week to create from scratch. Where as her beautiful yellow floral designed beadwork took nearly two years to complete. “I use yellow size nine tri cut beads in luster yellow, and I use the two needle technique in which Shoshone are known for,” Perdash said. “A lot of tribes “lazy stitch” their beadwork, but I like mine to be precise. Other than that, I just outline my designs and fill it in. It’s like coloring.” Photos courtesy of Stormie Perdash.

Perdash graduated with an Associates of Art in Native American Studies from Salish Kootenai Community College in 2015. She went on to study at her dream school, the University of Oklahoma in 2015–2016. Due to financial hardship she returned to SKC in 2016. Perdash will be among the first to graduate with another Associates of Arts in the newly formed Tribal Governance degree in June 2017, with plans to obtain a Bachelors of Art in Tribal Governance by 2019.

As an aspiring model, Perdash uses her Instagram account to showcase her modeling. Working with a new photographer and doing a new photo shoot at least once a month.

Perdash was awarded ‘Best Dancer’ in the 2016 Miss Indian World competition. “Dancing is my passion, so this category in the competition just came easy to me. I knew deep down that if I could come out of the competition with anything, besides the actual crown, I would want it to be ‘Best Dancer’.” Photo by Jarrette Werk

Perdash and I worked together over the weekend. Shooting at locations in Reno, NV, Lake Tahoe, CA, and San Francisco, CA. Being her first time at all three places, Perdash was excited to not only visit but also to shoot at these locations. If you want to see the photos form our shoot be sure to check back for my next blog post.

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