Luella Brien

Luella, a Crow woman wearing a red bandana, large shell earrings, a shawl and feathers poses in front of a sunset.

As a journalist Luella Brien is able to share the triumphs and tragedies of her people, which she feels is the natural evolution of the Native storytelling tradition. She also believes strongly in serving her community. Has worked as a media consultant with the tribe, a communication arts instructor at Little Big Horn College, and an outreach coordinator and tribal tourism manager.

Brien’s Apsáalooke name is Akbaaítchesh, or One Who Keeps Things Good. Her name was given to her by her maternal grandfather Benjamin Big Man Sr., as a tribute to his own mother. She is the descendant of powerful healers, educators, and leaders and most importantly storytellers. She is a 2006 graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism, where she received a BA in print journalism. She is a 2002 graduate of the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute, a 2004 Chips Quinn Scholar, a 2004 Associated Press Diverse Voices Scholar and a 2024 Maynard 200 Fellow.

Brien believes that storytelling and Apsáalooke history is the foundation of our tourism industry. Crow Country is the only place in the world to learn about the Apsáalooke people. Brien believes that keeping the door open to guests will be the only way to bring understanding between cultures.

Brien lives on the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana, where she is the executive director of Four Points Media and the editor-in-chief of Four Points Press. She is the mother of twin boys, who are in college, and a high school-aged daughter.Brien beads, sews, and constructs Apsáalooke style moccasins. She spends her time primarily producing items for her daughter, sons and nieces and nephews. Brien learned most of her craft as a youth observing her mother and paternal grandmother, as well as by taking items apart and reassembling them. Once she had children in 2003, her passion for creation was renewed.