2015 South Dakota Workshop participants / Participantes en el Taller de Dakota del Sur de 2015

2015 South Dakota Workshop participants / Participantes en el Taller de Dakota del Sur de 2015

©Laurie Buffalo (picture)


- The content of this collection is in progress / El contenido de esta colección es en curso -


This collection features profiles of the 2015 South Dakota Workshop participants. Where available, the participants' photos, bios and self-introductions are included.

Esta colección contiene los perfiles de los participantes en el Dakota del Sur de 2015. Incluye las fotos, biografías y auto presentaciones de los participantes.


The project director, Elizabeth Castle, holds a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University and has worked collaboratively with indigenous communities for nearly 20 years in the practice of indigenous oral history and media. She is the director/producer of the feature documentary Warrior Womenthat will debut nationally on PBS and in film festivals next year and has been funded by the Sundance Documentary Fund, Vision Maker Media and Independent Television News Service (ITVS). Warrior Women, the film, is based on the eponymous manuscript which provides the first full‐length academic study of the history of Native women's activism in the Red Power Movement based on oral history interviews conducted with all the major participants. Castle received the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship where she worked under the mentorship of Professors Bettina Aptheker and Angela Y. Davis at UC Santa Cruz. She specialized in oral histories on race, gender and social movements as an academic specialist at the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2001 she served as delegate for the Indigenous World Association at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. She currently serves on the National Advisory Counsel for the National Conference in Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and is developing workshop for greater inclusion in the classroom. She was the founding faculty member of Native Studies Department at the University of South Dakota and taught there for six years. Castle is a Shawnee descendent who maintains very active commitments to the community of indigenous organizers about whom she had written and filmed. Castle has managed grant funding over $500,000.


Media Director


Justin de Leon is an International Relations Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware. He is a Rotary World Peace Fellow and an award-winning documentary filmmaker who challenges and interrogates oppressive social structures, in hopes of contributing to social change. De Leon is interested in justice and demilitarization and has worked around the world in Nepal, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Northern Ireland, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. His ongoing research explores how the experiences and knowledge from the Lakota of South Dakota can inform new questions of militarization in the US and draws upon feminist theory, Native American studies, and critical theory.


Trainee Coordinators


Morgan Catlett-Ausborn was the chosen youth delegate from the original 2013 Symposium and has taken on a leadership role since that time continuing to be involved in the subsequent planning meetings and workshops. Sheholds a master's degree in Native Studies, Education and Museums, with a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management. In 2013, Morgan attended the historical conference titled “Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations: from the experience of the first delegates to the empowerment of the young generation” as one of seven indigenous youths representing the geopolitical regions of the world. The conference was the catalyst for this oral history project. She is currently the Assistant Director of Education at Crazy Horse Memorial, where during the summer she has the opportunity to work with young Native American students preparing to attend college.


Wyatt Pickner, Hunkpati Dakota, has a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and American Indian studies. Primarily he works to improve health conditions of Native people/communities through public health research. He has also worked on various projects relating to indigenous peoples history and cultural education. Wyatt Pickner is also one of the 12 trainees chosen for the South Dakota Workshop who has taken on a leadership role in establishing the infrastructure of NAIOHP.


Advisory Team


Comprised in a similar manner as the leadership team, the advisory team will may shift depending upon time and interest.


Marcella Gilbert is a Dakota/Lakota woman who was only 17 years old when she was a delegate of the We Will Remember Survival School to attend 1977 UN Conference. She was invited back as part of the 2013 conference and has been on the organizing committee since. She holds a Master's Degree in nutrition and has been working on her home reservation, nationally and internationally on issues of food sovereignty and traditional foods revitalization. She played a key role in organizing the South Dakota Workshop and will continue to provide to work closely with the leadership team in seeing this project.


Madonna Thunder Hawk, Two Kettle Lakota, is a veteran of every modern Red Power Movement struggle, from the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island to the 1973 stand at Wounded Knee. In 1974, she established the "We Will Remember Survival School," an alternative school and group home for Indian youth who had been pushed out of local school system. Thunder Hawk co-founded both the Women of All Red Nations (WARN) and the Black Hills Alliance in the late seventies to work against issues of priority to indigenous women and to protect sacred Lakota land from uranium contamination. As a delegate

for WARN, she attended the 1981 UN Conference on Land. An eloquent voice for Native America, Thunder Hawk has spoken throughout the United States, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. Hailing from the Feather Necklace Tiospaye spread across the reservations of South Dakota, Thunder Hawk is a long-time community organizer with a range of experience in American Indian treaty rights protection, cultural preservation, economic development, and environmental justice.


William "Bill" Means is Lakota and a founder of the International Indian Treaty Council and current the President of the Board. During his nine years as Executive Director, he was responsible for the establishment of a system for documenting human rights violations against Indians. He is a co-founder of the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations and an expert of U.S. and Indian Treaty relations. He was executive director of American Indian O.I.C., a job center that has placed over 14,000 people in full-time employment. He has been on the Grand Governing Council of the American Indian Movement since 1972. He is a veteran of Wounded Knee 1973 and helped coordinated legal defense work on over 500 Wounded Knee federal indictments. Bill has extensive negotiating experience with tribal, city, state, federal and international agencies. For five years he was Executive Director of the Heart of the Earth Survival School for Indians. He is on the Board of the World Archeological Congress and has lectured extensively at major universities here and abroad. He graduated from Black Hills State University, has been in many environmental campaigns from the Black Hills Alliance and is a Vietnam combat veteran.


Mike Myers of the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation in Western New York has been active in Indigenous affairs for more than 30 years, beginning with his participation in the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island. He is the founder and CEO of Network for Native Futures, a Native non-profit that works with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations internationally. The network's mission is to support sustainable development and nation re-building through providing of technical assistance, training and consulting. Since 1976, he has been a Grand Council appointed member of the Haudenosaunee Land Rights Committee and is also one of the original co-authors of the "International Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples". In 1977, Mike was hired by the Institute for the Development of Indian Law in Washington, DC, to act as the coordinator of Indigenous delegations to the first Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations conference on “The Issues of Discrimination Against the Indigenous Populations of the Americas,” This work led to his being actively involved in the development of international rights and standards pertaining to Indigenous nations and peoples.

He is a published author beginning with A Basic Call To Consciousness, Akwesasne Notes (1977), Traditional Teachings North American Indian Traveling College (1980), and The Power Within People Tribal Sovereignty Associates (1986) as well as numerous articles and papers for publications and conferences. In addition to his non-fiction work, Mike has written several children’s stories, short stories, and recently begun his first novel. He is currently a regular Op/Ed contributor to Indian Country Today.


Youth Trainees


Laurie Buffalo is a member of Samson Cree Nation from the Maskwacis Cree territory located in Central Alberta, Canada. Laurie’s interest in being a part of the NAIOHP is derived from her volunteer work with her home territory’s Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development (IOIRD) whose work has been focused on reaffirming the Rights of Indigenous peoples.


Wiyaka Chasing Hawk, Itazipcola Lakota, is from the Red Scaffold Community on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Currently he is a Traditional Cultural Specialist for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - Tribal Historic Preservation Office. He works alongside archeologist and federal agencies to identify and protect indigenous sacred sites. He will be attending United Tribes Technical College and finishing his degree in Business Management in the spring of 2016.


Raohseraha:wi Hemlock is Kahnawake Mohawk and has studied film in the Vanier CEGEP communications program and currently in Syracuse University's VPA film program. Working at local television stations or making short films for local school fundraisers or film festivals, Hemlock has 5 years of film production experience that is an accumulation of his pursuit of becoming an indigenous filmmaker.


Kezia Jacobs-Smith is a Whadjuk Noongar from the Perth area of Western Australia. She has extensive experience in administrative roles across a number of sectors and has a lifetime worth of experience in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in her region. Kezia has a great interest in educating the wider community on Aboriginal culture and history, and preserving this for future generations. She attended the 2015 Second Symposium of Indigenous People’s in the United Nations as a youth delegate then was asked to attend the North American Oral History workshop following on from that.


Joseph Angel "Joey" Montoya is a young entrepreneur who was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He is a descendent of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas and Indigenous Salvadorian. He currently attends San Jose State University majoring in advertising and minor in graphic design. He hopes to record the stories of Indigenous people who have made an impact in Indigenous communities.


Paulene Shebala-Abeyta, Diné, is a student at the University of New Mexico where she is double majoring in Communication & Native American Studies, and minoring in Geography. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Native American Studies Indigenous Research Group. She and her husband, Chad, reside in To’Hajiilee, New Mexico with their two children. Paulene’s interests include advocacy for Indigenous issues, utilizing different mediums to educate and empower people, and networking and collaborating with others on local, state, tribal, national, and international Indigenous projects.


John Little is Dakota from the Standing Rock Sioux in North and South Dakota. He earned his BA from South Dakota State University and his MA from the University of South Dakota. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota in the history department. His work focuses on oral histories and Vietnam veterans.


Rebecca Mandamin, Waabshkanacotuk, White Cloud is an Anishinaabekwe from the Treaty 3 territory. She grew up around her politically active father who led her to her interest in environmental activism. Using her young age to an advantage, she has been trying to encourage other young people to get involved and educated on their cultural and historical background. She has provided presentations on natural law, food sovereignty and water issues. Growing up in her community of Iskatewizaagegan, she noticed there wasn't a lot opportunity, so she helps every year develop the community green house for locals and has even created a youth environmental group for her peers. At the age of 16, she is still in the midst of completing high school and wishes to pursue a university degree in politics and philosophy.


Cynthia Smith is a descendant of the Anishinaabeg of Quebec, Canada. Graduated from the University of Ottawa in civil law, she is currently pursuing her Master of Laws (LL.M.) where she brings an indigenous perspective of justice through education, arts and storytelling. She believes in the importance of intergenerational cultural transmission to empower youth and communities. Cynthia sees our world as a forest where we are all trees. In order to be healthy and strong forest, our trees need strong and deep roots. She believes in a world where youth have dreams, where they believe in themselves, feel loved and storytelling facilitates that.


Ann-erika White Bird is a writer, artist and teacher from Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Her writing includes poetry and short stories. She also has a website that covers the decisions made in Tribal government. Her drive is to address problems in order to find solutions so the generations coming up have a better world in which to live and thrive.