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Room to breathe

Photo caption: Dawn Pracht, Osage small business owner, stands next to products of her company which sells whole-house fans through Quiet Cool. Courtesy Photo

The American Dream may be nothing more than that, a dream, especially for women and minorities set at a disadvantage by centuries of injustice. It takes an extra level of savoir-faire and hard work over the average American citizen to fulfill dreams as an Osage woman, and that is exactly what Dawn Pracht sought out to do.

The American Dream is defined by Oxford Languages as the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved. So how can this even be possible? For Dawn Pracht, all it took was a bit of research into how she could utilize her minority status. She jumped through her fair share of hoops and in time Pracht became the owner of American Native Woman Contracting Inc.

“My biggest hurdle began when I got laid off from the oil and gas industry,” Pracht said. In 2015 she faced a world where her job of over 20 years was suddenly gone. Pracht admitted she felt lost but where one door closes another opens and Pracht wasn’t going to allow the unfortunate news to bring her down. So, back to school she went at the age of 54 she received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Management.

Soon after she had a degree in hand, Pracht saw her advantage as a Native American woman to start her own company in government contracting.

“As I started looking deeper into my own business, I also discovered I was an Indian Economic Enterprise and Economic Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business,” she said. This discovery opened a whole new world of funding and American Native Woman Contracting Inc. became incorporated in March 2016.

“Owning your own small business opens many doors. One of those doors opened was selling whole-house fans through Quiet Cool as well as to sell these fans through my company. The manufacturer has appointed me and ANW to create awareness about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to Native American Tribes in Oklahoma,” she said.

LIHEAP is a Federally-funded program that provides financial assistance to approximately 182,000 Oklahoma low-income households each year to help meet the cost of home energy. Whole house fans have been approved under LIHEAP for families who qualify. To qualify you must live in a house that has an air conditioner or window unit. Pracht explains further how whole-house fans can save 50 to 90 percent on electric bills and extend the AC unit’s life plus show medical advantages, especially during a global pandemic.

“We all know about the importance of clean air from COVID. The CDC also backs the importance of cleaner air quality which a whole house fan will improve,” she said.

Take it from Pracht, an Osage woman who found her way. When the world begins to topple down, sometimes you just need a little room to breathe.


Natasha Lovato

Original Publish Date: 2021-07-05 00:00:00


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Natasha Lovato
Natasha is a Colorado native born with a passion for the natural world. When she’s not hiking, paddle boarding or cycling you’ll find her curled up with a good book and her cats.

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