Nineteen Citizens from 10 Tribes Join Program to Strengthen Skills, Serve Native People
(St. Paul, MN – December 1, 2011) Nineteen allies committed to advancing the self determination of their nations form the third cohort of the Bush Foundation’s Native Nation Rebuilders Program.
These 11 men and 8 women hold fields of expertise that vary from finance, law, environment, education and business to name a few. They support Native nations through youth programs, colleges, health care, non-profits, tribal administration, and tribal councils. They were selected for their public spirited leadership and commitment to assist their nations toward realizing their tribes’ unique nation-rebuilding goals.
Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce) is vice president at the Bush Foundation and leads its efforts to partner with tribal nations, including the Rebuilders program. He said, “The Rebuilders are willing to build upon their existing talents and interests to work in their communities. Each of them brings a unique perspective that will be vital to a shared learning experience and they all share a commitment to strengthening tribal communities through the rights of self-governance.”
The Rebuilders’ names, tribal affiliations and bios are available at BushFoundation.org and below.
The Rebuilders have gathered in Prior Lake, Minnesota for their first meeting, which ends Friday. Rebuilder trainings are led by several regional and national partners with expertise in nation-rebuilding, organizing and issues specific to Indian Country, including the Native Nations Institute and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.
A Rebuilder from the new cohort said, “I feel this is one of the best opportunities to explore nation building efforts. Sharing and learning with others will help identify problems and solutions for all. This may be the only place that discussions like this will take place.”
The Foundation launched the Rebuilders program in support of the elected leaders of the 23 Native nations who said that partnering with other emerging and existing Native leaders will be crucial to the success of their nations over the long term. Rebuilders make a significant commitment. They agree to participate consistently in ongoing activities throughout the two-year period, to actively share knowledge with peers and with their respective nations’ governments, and to develop and implement nation-rebuilding action plans.
Applications will open in late 2012 for the fourth cohort of Rebuilders.
About the Bush Foundation
Our mission is to be a catalyst for the courageous leadership necessary to create sustainable solutions to tough public problems and ensure community vitality. The Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, and today works in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Learn more at BushFoundation.org.
The Bush Foundation – Native Nations Rebuilders
Cohort 3 – November 2011
(A listing by Native nation follows below)
Shawn Bordeaux (Rosebud Sioux) is currently the business and community development officer at Sinte Gleska University (SGU). Bordeaux is also the chairman of REDCO, his nation’s economic development company, and serves on the tribal utilities commission. From 2007 to 2009, he served on the tribal council. Prior to his time at SGU, Bordeaux was the Chief Operating Officer for Ho-Chunk, Inc., a tribally-owned enterprise of the Winnebago Nation that has business ventures in several sectors. Bordeaux holds a BS in Business Administration and master’s in Community and Regional Planning, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Lorraine Davis (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate) works for the Indian Health Service as the financial management specialist based in Fort Yates. In this role, she oversees financial management and budgeting services and serves as a member of the governing body of the hospital. Prior to joining the IHS, Davis worked at United Tribes Technical College (Bismarck) as the housing director, helping ensure suitable living is available to UTTC students. Davis also volunteers much of her time as an advisory board member for several organizations based in North Dakota. She holds an MBA from the University of Mary (Bismarck).
Wayne Ducheneaux II (Cheyenne River Sioux) is the administrative officer for his nation, overseeing tribal government employees across multiple departments. A former rancher on his homeland, Ducheneaux has also managed the Cheyenne River Motel. He currently serves on the Four Bands Community Fund Board of Directors to support small business development at his nation. Ducheneaux is working on a degree in political science and history from the University of Minnesota at Morris.
Wayne Dupuis (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) serves as the environmental program manager for his nation, managing his nation’s tribal resources and advancing renewable energy projects. His previous experience includes seven years as the human resource director for the tribal government. He is also dedicated to the education of the nation’s children, serving on the tribal school board for the past 12 years. He is currently chairman of the school board. Dupuis received a BSW from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a MA in management from the College of St. Scholastica (Duluth).
Ryan Eagle (Three Affiliated Tribes) is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Three Affiliated Tribes. He is responsible for managing the operations and staff of the six Boys & Girls Clubs located across the Fort Berthold reservation. Recognizing his devotion to the youth of the Three Affiliated Tribes, Eagle received the 2011 Fort Berthold Co-Educator of the Year award. Eagle graduated from Fort Berthold Community College with an AB in environmental science and the University of North Dakota with a BA in political science.
Joseph Eltobgi (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) is the executive director of Pathways to Prosperity project at Turtle Mountain, a ten-year poverty reduction effort initiated by the Northwest Area Foundation. The project focuses on economic development, infrastructure, and community engagement. Eltobgi received his MBA from the University of Mary (Bismarck). In his spare time, he enjoys golf and spending time with his family.
Benay Fairbanks (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) is a grant writer and researcher for his nation, overseeing demographic and statistical information to assist with grant projects and community planning. He has also worked for his nation in managing its transportation programs. Fairbanks enjoys riding his motorcycle in his free time.
Julie Garreau (Cheyenne River Sioux) has worked with the nonprofit Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) since the organization started in 1988. She served as its first director as a volunteer, transitioning to the full-time executive director position in 2000. CRYP is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs. A criminal justice graduate of Huron University, Garreau served as the Cheyenne River Nation’s education services specialist for 15 years. She is a recipient of the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award, the Presidential Points of Light Award, the North American Indian Women's Association Fellowship “Among All Peoples” Award, the Garden Supply Company’s First Place “Garden Crusader” Award, and the Spirit of Dakota Award.
Jason Hollinday (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) is the director of planning for his tribe, overseeing a department that is responsible for coordinating grants, infrastructure planning, and community development. Hollinday enjoys hunting and fishing. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a BA in urban studies and geography.
Esther Humphrey (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) is the program coordinator for Leech Lake YouthBuild, a program that works with approximately 30 youth to help them realize their full potential. She also worked for three years at the mental health case manager, working with patients one-on-one to assist them in living independently. Humphrey received an AA from Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College and a BSW from the College of St. Scholastica (Duluth).
Chase Iron Eyes (Standing Rock Sioux) has practiced law at his own firm, Iron Eyes Law Office, PLLC, for the past two years. Prior to starting the firm, he worked for his nation as a legal specialist. In 2008, he helped organized the first culture camp at Standing Rock to reconnect youth to their indigenous culture. He also started a website that features original writing, stories, and other multimedia. Iron Eyes received a BA from the University of North Dakota and a JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he was president of the Native American Law Student Association. He is a dedicated athlete, recently completing an Olympic distance triathlon.
Belinda F. Joe (Crow Creek Dakota Hunkpati) is the culture and education specialist for the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. She supervises artisans and summer students at the Foundation’s Culture and Education Center. Joe holds master’s degrees in education from Montana State University and Northern State University. She strives to give community members and youth a voice through the Dakota language and traditional song and dance.
Ryman LeBeau (Cheyenne River Sioux) is currently a council representative for his nation. Elected in 2008, he is working to develop a nonprofit entity that would serve the nation. Prior to serving on the tribal council, he worked as a biologist for the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management. LeBeau holds a BS in environmental science from Haskell Indian Nations University. He enjoys the outdoors and playing sports, particularly basketball.
Richard Little Hawk (Oglala Sioux) works for the Wakpamni District Task Force as a community development specialist. He served six years on tribal council, spent several years as a tribal prosecutor, and currently serves on several boards and committees. Little Hawk received a legal technician certificate from the Antioch School of Law (Washington, D.C.). He is an avid reader.
Donita Loudner (Crow Creek Sioux) is the director of the Circle of Care and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention programs for her nation, where she oversees a mental health team. Since 2002, Loudner has served on the Buffalo County Commission. She is a graduate of Sinte Gleska University and the University of South Dakota. In her spare time, Loudner sews quilts and clothing.
Josett Monette (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) is an educator in her hometown community of Belcourt, North Dakota. She currently works for Turtle Mountain Community Schools as the English Language Learner/Limited English Proficient Coordinator. Before this assignment, she worked as a social studies teacher at Turtle Mountain Community Middle School. Monette completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Dakota. She loves dancing and music.
Leah Monroe (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) is the director of the Indian Education program at Northland Community School, serving as a resource for students and their parents. She holds a BS in business administration from Bemidji State University, a degree she puts to use as the owner and operator of her own retail business. She also enjoys dancing at powwows and making powwow regalia for family, friends, and community members.
Robert Shepherd (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) is currently the chairman of his nation, taking office in January 2011. Prior to his election as chairman, he worked for the tribal planning and economic development office. From 1996 to 2004, he served in the United States Navy. Shepherd holds a BS from the University of North Dakota and an MBA from the University of Mary (Bismarck).
Kristy Zaste (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) is the program coordinator/recruiter for the University of North Dakota American Indian Student Services Office. In this role, she provides culturally-appropriate assistance to American Indian students on campus. She also recruits prospective American Indians to the university. Prior to accepting this position, Zaste worked as the education director for the Boys & Girls Club of the Three Affiliated Tribes. She holds an AAS from Turtle Mountain Community College and a BA from the University of North Dakota. She is passionate about promoting education throughout Indian Country, spending time with her family, and cooking.