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Board and Staff


Joseph Marshall III,
Board President

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Joseph Marshall III was born and raised on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) tribe. Because he was raised in a traditional Lakota household by his maternal grandparents, his first language is Lakota. In that environment he also learned the ancient tradition of oral storytelling. He is also a practitioner of primitive Lakota archery, having learned from his maternal grandfather the art of hand crafting bows and arrows. Joseph is also a specialist in wilderness survival.Joseph taught at the high school and college levels, and developed native studies curriculum as well. For several years he worked for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Now he writes full time, having published nine nonfiction works, three novels, a collection of short stories and essays, and has written several screenplays. Many of his books are published in foreign countries and he has won several awards for his books, both for the text and audio versions.Joseph has appeared in several television documentaries, served as technical advisor for movies, and had a role in a major television network mini-series. He was a technical advisor and narrator for the Turner Network Television (TNT) and Dreamworks Television six-part mini-series Into the West, as well as playing the on-screen role of “Loved by the Buffalo,” a Lakota medicine man.One of his most treasured and meaningful experiences was to be one of the founders of Sinte Gleska University (1971) on the Rosebud Reservation. He is one of the Charter Board Members.As a speaker and lecturer he has appeared in many venues throughout the United States and in countries such as France, Sweden, and Siberia.

Jerome Kills Small, Treasurer

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Jerome Kills Small is an Oglala Lakota from Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He graduated from and taught at the University of South Dakota, instructing Lakota language, American Indian thought, Siouan tribal culture, Lakota history, and a seminar on Black Elk. He also taugh tthe Dakota language and American Indian cultures at Nebraska Indian Community College in Santee, Neb., and South Sioux City, Neb.

Karen Little Thunder, 
Board Member

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Karen is a part-time resident of the Upper Cut Meat Community. Her parents are Bill Little Thunder (Sicangu Lakota) and Phoebe Little Thunder (Oglala Lakota), but she personally identifies as MaLakota. She is a proud mother of two girls. Karen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management at Sinte Gleska University. She is currently attending graduate school at Oglala Lakota College. She has been an advocate for the Lakota people and her ancestral homelands over the course of her life. She worked to change the name of Black Elk Peak from Harney Peak and has been teaching the true history of the 1855 Blue Water Creek Massacre. Karen is proudly sober for the last 23 years as it continues to connect her with traditional spirituality and life ways. She dances old-style shawl within our local wacipi circles.

Mona Rencountre, 
Board Member

Mdewakatunwan-Ihanktunwanna-Hunkpati Ospaye of Oceti Sakowin Oyate

Mona Rencountre is my English name
Nahbezamaniwin is my true name.
I am from Mdewakatunwan-Ihanktunwanna-Hunkpati Ospaye of Oceti Sakowin Oyate.
My 3 sons: Whitney, Uriah, Reese
My 2 daughters: Tasina, Rachelle
My 2 daughterinlaws: Jessie, Justibe
I have 18 takoja
Dakota way my sister's children mitawa.
I attended boarding school which caused me trauma and abandonment issues so I like to share with relatives that our survival behaviors are not who we truly are.
I have an AA in elementary education, worked 26 years for government 8 of those with Wildland Fire. I currently work PT for CCST. I did 25 years of research in historical trauma, intergenerational grief, Oceti Sakowin history mainly from elders, language and healing. As I am older, I feel my responsibility is to share the culture, 7 rites and language with younger generation which I find the payout is the youth continuing our nation of being good relatives. I learned more than any western education from Lakota Youth Project. It's prophetic that the adults there are passionate and were brought there to continue our ways according to our ancestors. My best time is being involved with them it's like native paradise...

Marla C. Bull Bear
Executive Director

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Marla is a member of the Milks Camp Community of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and is the founder and Executive Director of Lakota Youth Development. Marla received her Masters in Counseling from Sinte Gleska University (SGU), a tribal university located on the Rosebud Reservation. She is a former chairwoman of the Board of Regents for Sinte Gleska University. In addition, Marla has served the state in various capacities including serving 12 years on the State Alcohol and Drug Advisory Council and Chairwoman of that council for 5 years ending her service in 2005 having last been appointed by Governor Janklow.

Certifications/Memberships: AIANTA member

Tyler Makes Room for Them
Youth Development Specialist

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Tyler Rose Makes Room For Them is an enrolled Sicangu Lakota of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and current member of Milks Camp Community located in Gregory County. She is the daughter of Ophelia Blue Thunder and the late Marty Makes Room For Them. Her dad Marty was a well known Lakota singer and was the lead singer of Memorial Drum. Her parents gave her Lakota teachings of ceremonies, traditonal

arts, song and dance. She has been working with Lakota Youth Development for 7 years, first as

Chaperone, then Independent Living Specialist (IL Services) and now a Youth Development Specialist. Tyler is active in her Lakota culture and expert Beadwork Creator and Women’s Stationary Traditional dancer. She enjoys working the youth, teaching and sharing knowledge or Lakota culture and offers lectures and classes on beadwork, parfleche, and Lakota designs.

Charles Bull Bear
Facilities Manager

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Charles is a member of Milk Camp community serving as community chair and also vice-chairman. Charles has received a two year degree in physical health education and environmental science. He graduated from federal law enforcement and served as a ranger and police officer for Rosebud Sioux Tribe for 20 years. He has been volunteering for Lakota Youth Development since retirement.

Carrie Odegard
Administrative Assistant
 Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Certifications/Memberships: NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Nate Bull Bear
Honey Lodge Manager

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Certifications/Memberships: NOLS Wilderness First Responder

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