South Dakota staff held a “kick-off” for Native American Heritage Month in early November with opening comments provided by State Director Meeks sharing a PowerPoint – 5 minutes 500 years – with statistical information gathered by the National Congress of American Indians, an Indian Taco meal, and guest speaker Dr. James E. Pete, who also provided a blessing before the meal.
Staff heard first hand from a respected elder in the Native American community and member of the Native American family from the Red cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Dr. James E. Pete. Dr. Pete talked about the Native American/Indian Tribal Organization and Leadership, Understanding the Past, Living in the Present, Designing the Future for Tribal Organizations and Leadership which is also the title of his Doctoral project which concentrates on the encouragement of integration of traditional beliefs and philosophies into the Tribal Organization.
Dr. Pete whose Anishinaabe name is Guyaushk (Seagull) is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, is from the Eagle Clan, has two sons, and seven grandchildren. He is a retired Government employee with years of service split between the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
South Dakota Rural Business Specialist Ken Lynch, who is also a respected Tribal Member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Loon Clan), Red Cliff, WI organized the event. Ken Lynch was honored as a Military Veteran and respected Tribal Member by Dr. Pete with the presentation of a Tribal Flag for his service in the Army, 101st Airborne, 3rd/327 Infantry.