Abraham White Weasel
Abraham White Weasel, Sun Cedar's shop manager and star employee, was born into a troubled Lakota family in 1989 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His father abandoned the family when Abraham was two years old, and two years later his mother also left. Abraham lived in foster homes until the age of eight, when he was adopted into an abusive family and taken to Colorado. Abraham found life intolerable with his adoptive family and started acting out, by his own account behaving like "a delinquent" in an effort to get out of that environment. At the age of 13 he was successful, and he was sent back to South Dakota's Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, where he lived with an aunt while attending school.
Soon after returning to the reservation he was briefly reunited with his mother, with whom he lived in Chicago until she returned him to his 61-year-old father in South Dakota, a reunion that Abraham describes as being "really awkward." After one week, his father dropped him off at a children's home in Eagle Butte, S.D., where he lived for a month before again reuniting with his mother, who took him back to Chicago for a short time before the two of them returned to the Cheyenne River Reservation to live with a cousin.
Once back on the reservation, 13-year-old Abraham continued his schooling but found his conflicted relationship with his mother very difficult. He recalls frequent fights and often considered running away, but says that, "There isn't anywhere to run to on the reservation." Eventually he mastered his emotions and committed himself to improving his relationship with his mother. They fought less and his school performance improved. He recalls believing that he had accomplished "a pretty good turnaround." However, on his 14th birthday he was called out of his last period at school for a meeting with the school counselor and a social worker. Together they informed him that his mother had once again relinquished her parental rights. Though Abraham was only 14, and had never tried drugs or alcohol, he was moved to a Rapid City treatment center as an "emergency placement" where he lived for a year before being moved to a long-term facility, a boy's ranch in Sioux Falls, where he lived from the age of 15 to the age of 18 and graduated from high school.
Abraham dates the beginnings of his health difficulties to that awful 14th birthday. Although as a young child he had been an active bicyclist and Little League baseball player, he fell into a deep depression upon the final separation from his mother. He self-isolated, stopped talking to others or leaving the house to play and soon was wrestling with the obesity that has plagued his adult years. Abraham moved to Lawrence, Kansas to attend Haskell Indian Nations University, but let his grades fall, which eventually led to being kicked out of Haskell. With no family to turn to, Abraham found himself homeless, staying at the Lawrence Community Shelter. During his stay at Lawrence Community Shelter, Abraham met Shine Adams, who recruited him as one of Sun Cedar's first employees.
Since beginning his Sun Cedar journey Abraham has exited the homeless shelter, purchased a car and has been readmitted to Haskell Indian Nations University.