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M.L. Smoker belongs to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana in Missoula, where she was the recipient of the Richard Hugo Fellowship. Her first collection of poems, Another Attempt at Rescue, was published by Hanging Loose Press in 2005. In 2009 she co-edited an anthology of human rights poetry with Melissa Kwasny entitled, I Go to the Ruined Place.  She received a regional Emmy award for her work as a writer/consultant on the PBS documentary Indian Relay. M.L. Smoker currently resides in Helena, where she works as the Director of Indian Education for the state of Montana. In 2015 she was named the Indian Educator of the Year by the National Indian Education Association.