Verna Marie Louis Bartlett was born Verna Marie Louis. She was enrolled in the Nooksack tribe. Her father was full-blooded Nooksack and mother was Muckleshoot and enrolled in the Puyallup tribe. Verna was born on the Muckleshoot reservation and raised on the Yakima Indian reservation until she was 18 years old. She has lived the last 50 years of her life on the Puyallup Indian reservation.
Verna’s story of her life is a powerful reflection of domestic violence amongst Indian people. She has become an advocate for speaking out against the silence and abuses that has been perpetuated through abuse. She demonstrates the ability to transform pain of abuse through hard work and dedication. Ending years of abusive relationships and alcohol addiction, Verna’s determination in earning her college education is inspirational. She now has her Ph.D. and her dissertation, which was just approved after more than 2 dozen reviews, is on sexual abuse on Indian reservations. It is a remarkable story.
As Verna created her own healing path she began to help her people through direct treatment services in addictions and children services. She is an advocate and voice for and of the people.