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UTTC wellness leader named as ‘Native Nations Rebuilder’
3 January 2011

SAINT PAUL - Ruth Buffalo Zarazua, head of the United Tribes Strengthening Lifestyles Program, has been named to the Bush Foundation’s Native Nations Rebuilders Program.

      Buffalo Zarazua is among a group of 19 women and men from 13 different tribal nations in the region chosen for the foundation’s second cohort of rebuilders in 2010.

Ruth Buffalo-Zarazua

      According to the Foundation, the Rebuilders bring new expertise and commitment to finding “sustainable solutions to the tough problems that face Native people and nations.”

      Buffalo Zarazua directs programs in the United Tribes Wellness Center that teach holistic wellness approaches to students from elementary school through college. She has also assisted in coaching the men’s and women’s basketball teams and coordinates or teaches other wellness-related activities, such as the Thunderbird Half Marathon, tai chi, and first aid/CPR. In 2010, North Dakota Business Watch named her as a “40 under 40 leader.”

      Buffalo Zarazua holds a BS in criminal justice from Huron University (SD), and a master’s in management from the University of Mary (Bismarck). In addition to her enrollment at Three Affiliated Tribes, Buffalo Zarazua is Chirichua Apache.

      Also named to the second Rebuilders cohort was Dr. Cheryl Ann Kary, former United Tribes research director, now executive director of the Standing Rock Tribe.

      The newest Rebuilders met in early December for a three-day event at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. They were joined by more than 20 Rebuilders chosen earlier in 2010. Together they are committed to moving their nations, in cooperation with elected leadership, toward realizing their tribes’ unique nation-rebuilding goals.

       “We see them as an emerging source of energy to support tribal self-determination,” said Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce), who leads foundation efforts to partner with tribal nations. “In 19 of the 23 Native nations the Foundation serves, elected leaders now have colleagues who share their commitment to nation-rebuilding and who have embarked on a process to deepen their leadership skills and knowledge about tribal governance.”

      Applications for the third cohort of Rebuilders will open in late 2011. For more information visit www.bushfoundation.org.

      The Bush Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth. It strives to be a catalyst to shape vibrant communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography

The Bush Foundation - Native Nations
Rebuilders Cohort 2, December 2010

Sharon (Armstrong) Bellcourt (White Earth Band of Ojibwe); Self-governance coordinator and special projects coordinator for White Earth Tribal Council.
Twyla B. Baker-Demaray (Three Affiliated Tribes-MHA Nation); Project director of the National Resource Center on Native American Aging for the Center for Rural Health at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, ND.
Justin Beaulieu (Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians); Director of operations for the Boys and Girls Club of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
Frances Big Crow (Oglala Sioux); Program director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Child Care and Development Program/ Volunteer with the SueAnn Center/Boys and Girls Club, Pine Ridge, SD.
Lori Brown (Spirit Lake Nation); Director of operations and board treasurer at tribally owned Sioux Manufacturing Corporation.
Ruth Buffalo Zarazua (Three Affiliated Tribes - MHA Nation); Director of the Strengthening Lifestyles Program at United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND.
Susan Connor (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa); Employee assistance and employee relations coordinator of the Fond du Lac Reservation.
Rebecca Crooks (Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community); Tribal administration with the Tribal Business Council and serves on the Tribe’s education commission.
Cherilyn Davies (White Earth Band of Ojibwe/Family ties at Leech Lake); Works with Infinite Campus and manages a BIE technology program for schools where the student population is primarily Native American.
Joseph Dudley III (Yankton Sioux Tribe); Physical therapy director at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, SD.
Anita Fineday (White Earth Band of Ojibwe), Chief judge of the White Earth Tribal Nation.
Benny Janis (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe); Directs the Tribe’s Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation.
Cheryl Ann Kary (Standing Rock Tribe); Executive director of the Standing Rock Tribe, Fort Yates, ND.
Terri Martin-Parisien (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa); Office of the president of Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND.
Anna (Sarcia) Ross (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa); Internal operations director at Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND.
Phillip Sam (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe); Branch director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
Lisa Schrader-Dillon (Oglala Sioux Tribe); Health administrator for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, SD
Nick Tilsen (Oglala Sioux Tribe); Founder and executive director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
Veronica Veaux (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe); Registrar at Leech Lake Tribal College, Cass Lake, MN


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