September 6, 2012
D’Va Penny Kipp brings a sense of sisterhood
By Lailani Upham
Penny Kipp, CSKT Tribal Education Director is one of the newest CSKT Domestic Violence Advisory Committee members. Kipp’s life brings a bond of sisterhood to the D’VA board. (Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — Being a “D’VA” seems to be a label many of the ladies find hard to identify with on a personal level ever since the series of stories on the lovely ladies who serve the Flathead Reservation community through the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Domestic Violence Program Advisory Committee was told in the Char-Koosta News.
Penny Kipp, one of the newest members to serve on the board is no exception to trying to figure out how she fits into the huge scope of the mission of the Domestic Violence Program Advisory Committee.
Kipp says she has been reading up on previous articles of all the strong women (D’VA’s) on the board, and with their forward thinking and proactive approach, she said she wanted to participate and bring something to the table as well.
Like all the other D’VA’s on the board, Penny took a moment to reflect how she fit on the serving this particular board.
It was fairly instant after a dialogue of ideas and the heart she had of serving and the conclusion of her “fit” was: she brings a strong female heart.
Kipp is the youngest sister out of 10 and she brings a wide wealth of nurturing character to the D’VA board.
Every year since the passing of Kipp’s mother 16 years ago, the sisters have been meeting together to connect and spend quality sibling time just as they did when their mother was alive.
The sisterhood was inspired in the 10 ladies by their mother being a “hub” for them all, and after she had passed, they wondered how they would see each other said Kipp.
The answer came.
The sisters have been taking a four-day weekend each year around Mother’s Day to spend time together – as sisters only. No kids, no spouses – just sisters.
Kipp’s mother instilled she and her sisters to be strong, educated and protective – and that is exactly how Kipp describes each and every one of her older sisters.
“Our mother was a strong woman.” Kipp says she and her sisters are “a bunch of strong women” because of the guiding of their own mother.
Kipp is also the CSKT Tribal Education Director and a resource for CSKT member college students. She and her team at the Education Department assist students with funding and other available scholarship opportunities.
And as a sister and mother, Kipp’s heart is to see students succeed in college and finish.
“Our mother always said to get an education. You can have the best husband in the world that will take care of you, but something might happen and you always have to be prepared to take care of yourself,” Kipp stated about her mother’s wisdom. Although Kipp’s mother and father were married for life, her mother always wanted the girls to be able to take care of their children and be prepared for unexpected circumstances – and education was a vital tool for just that.
Which led Kipp in her career choice – and now her service choice.
Life as a younger sister to so many has paved a strong path for Kipp, along with her mother’s molding of a strong female heart adds an enriching complimentary skill to the table of the D’VA board.
When it comes to a situation as serious as domestic violence – having a sisterhood board will engage a force not be reckoned with.