I was fortunate enough and privileged to have met a wonderful person this past summer

Her name is Nichole Winans, and anyone who just read the opening sentence of this article will agree with me 100%. I was at Prairie Knights Casino & Resort doing a live broadcast before George Thorogood hit the stage back in August. In the lobby Nichole walked in, for almost 11 years she has been working at Prairie - Her business card reads "Security Supervisor" - but she is much more than that. I watched her deal with a gentleman who had too much to drink. She treated this man with respect and dignity. Something told me after about ten minutes of watching her escort this frequent visitor outside to a waiting patrol car, that life experience was one of her greatest strengths.

Born and raised in Standing Rock, Fort Yates

From White Shield, North Dakota - Nichole has had some sadness in her life - looking at the cover picture of this story, you can see the loss of some loved ones. Out of high school, she has always been interested in law enforcement and helping others - her mom and grandmother were Chief Clerks Of The Tribal Court. Nichole began working in corrections - during that time frame, she began to fuel her drinking problem by stealing from the evidence bins from the police department. "I was young and stupid"

In our disease, many twists and turns happen

From 1991 - 94 Nichole led a sober life - that changed fairly quickly after she found out her mom was very ill. Relapse is part of the process, and worrying and being scared for a family member can easily trigger the bottle again. This is when so many people fall and never get back up. Addiction takes you to your knees and kills those who never give themselves a chance to survive.

January 14th, 1998

Nichole began her wonderful journey. "I didn't want it anymore" - this is when she surrendered completely. As the days followed the weeks, which then led to years of pure bliss, her strength inspired her best friend - her mother - Kathy DancingBull- BuffaloBoy - so much so that she has almost 15 years sober. The most beautiful thing is this, Nichole has nephews and nieces looking up to her - she is the driving force for others to see how perfect life is without addiction. Her favorite part of her job is helping others ( like the man I told you about earlier ) - she enjoys the people she works with. When I drove home that night, I felt uplifted by meeting someone so positive - she has a true gift, she's proud of who she is - and that's what life is all about.


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Gallery Credit: Stacker


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