Introducing Rebuilders Cohort 13

We’re celebrating Native American Heritage Month by welcoming 22 Indigenous changemakers to the Native Nation Rebuilders program. The leaders selected for the program’s thirteenth cohort represent 11 Native nations sharing geography with Mni Sota Makoce, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 

Native Nation Rebuilders are leaders who are passionate about strengthening their nations. Indigenous-led and grounded in Indigenous values, the two-year program helps future Rebuilders develop skills around community engagement, movement building, and Indigenized governance practices. The curriculum provides participants with a Native nation rebuilding framework they can use to solve problems and jumpstart their leadership journeys. Rebuilders also design and carry out “community action plans” that demonstrate what they’ve learned and positively impact their communities. 

Rebuilders represent 22 of the 23 Native nations located in Native Governance Center’s three-state region (MN, ND, and SD). Rebuilders cohort 13 shares a common desire to use seventh generation thinking (care for future generations) throughout their work. Many of them also are passionate about working with youth, reinforcing their commitment to the future of their nations.

Cohort members have backgrounds in entrepreneurship, corporate ventures, community infrastructure, cultural revitalization, education, health, government relations, and more. Native Governance Center Leadership Development Program Manager Jessica Glidden explains, “This cohort of leaders is remarkable and committed to positive change in their communities. Participating in this program will allow them to forge new connections, gain valuable insights and knowledge, and learn about the rebuilding framework needed to support their nations.”

Native Governance Center (NGC) staff have made extensive updates to the Rebuilders curriculum over the last few years, ensuring that the content reflects feedback from previous cohorts, NGC’s organizational values, and a variety of learning styles. The curriculum now features updated and regionally-focused governance case studies, experiential learning opportunities grounded in community, new speakers, and hands-on activities honoring cultural match. The goal of the Rebuilders program is to equip changemakers with tools and frameworks they can use to help rebuild their nations.

The Cohort 13 Rebuilders’ names and Native nation affiliations are below. The next round of applications for the fourteenth cohort of Rebuilders will be announced in summer 2024. Stay tuned for updates on Cohort 13 throughout the year. 

  • Shelly Davis, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa 
  • Burt Dillabaugh, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Téa Drift, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Marquel Holiday, Yankton Sioux Tribe 
  • Zachery King, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  • Feather LaRoche, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe 
  • SummerRose Last Horse, Oglala Sioux Tribe 
  • Jade Malaterre, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  • Cyndy Milda, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community 
  • Dawn Moves Camp, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Faith Moves Camp, Oglala Sioux Tribe 
  • Carrissa Pickit, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community 
  • Cynthia Poitra, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  • Andrea Reese, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Cedar Savage, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa 
  • Wendy Spry, White Earth Nation 
  • Tawnya Stewart, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe 
  • Jaylen Strong, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Angela Vig, White Earth Nation 
  • Rita Walaszek Arndt, White Earth Nation 
  • Ernest Weston Jr., Oglala Sioux Tribe 
  • Alexis White Hat-Kayonnie, Rosebud Sioux Tribe