Gene Tyon

Vice President

Oaye Luta Okolakiciye (Moving Forward in a Sacred Way)

Rapid City, SD

Gene Tyon is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Elder, and Traditional Knowledge Keeper, and founder and executive director of a Lakota-led nonprofit (Oaye Luta Okolakiciye [Moving Forward in a Sacred Way; OLO] based in what is now Rapid City. OLO serves a wide catchment area in western SD including the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Her received his master’s degree in alcohol and drug studies and possess decades of experience in culturally grounded programming, community organizing, and nonprofit organization and management. He has substantial experience as an advocate for Indigenous health within the He Sapa community in partnership with non-Indigenous public service institutions (e.g., education, justice, and social service). In doing this work, he is also acutely aware of the current barriers to health and equitable partnerships that exist within these institutions and have substantial experience in grassroots advocacy and nonprofit work. OLO’s emphasis on cultural and community-based pathways to healing and resilience has blossomed into a physical institution that serves as a key resource for cultural healing within health, justice, child welfare, and Indigenous advocacy spaces.

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