United Tribes NewsBryan Brewer honored at UTTC reception
LNI Home Court for New OST President
1 February 2013
RAPID CITY (UTN) – United Tribes Technical College expressed its congratulations and best wishes to a fellow educator who won election to the top leadership position of his tribe.
In his first bid for tribal office, Bryan Brewer was elected president in November of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
United Tribes honored Brewer December 20 in Rapid City at a reception during the Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) sports and academic competition. Brewer is a co-founder and long-time director of the annual event that brings tens of thousands of people to the city and millions of dollars of business.
“United Tribes takes this opportunity to acknowledge a change in leadership of the Oglala Sioux Tribe,” said Dr. Phil Baird (Sicangu Lakota), UTTC’s vice president of Academic, Career and Technical Education. “This man is a Vietnam Veteran and educator. He spent many years shaping the LNI into what it is today. Now he’s taken on the big task of leading the Oglala Nation.”
For most of his adult life, Brewer was devoted to education, as an instructor at Pine Ridge High School teaching Lakota Culture and serving as coach, athletic director, dean of students and principal.
We have a tremendous educator who we anticipate will do great things for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, bringing the same kind of leadership he brought to this event and back home in the schools, said Baird.
Brewer showed emotion, saying he was humbled and grateful for the recognition and having many friends on hand. He said when he and Dave Archambault Sr. started the LNI 36 years ago, they had no idea it would become so successful.
“This happened because I had people supporting me and I had a vision and we let things grow,” said Brewer. “And that’s what I have to do as a new chairman. I have to surround myself with good people. And I need the people’s support.”
Brewer was the first American Indian to serve on the South Dakota High School Activities Association, where he was a strong advocate for including Native People in the activities of South Dakota’s secondary schools.
Brewer singled out and thanked his friend, newspaper publisher Tim Giago, for his support and encouragement, and other friends in attendance. He said he was interested to begin working on the wide range of issues faced by tribal leaders.
“As individuals we can’t do that much. But as a group we can,” he said referring to the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association. “With our treaties and the support of the people, we can accomplish a lot.”
On behalf of the college and United Tribes President David M. Gipp, Brewer was presented with a red, white and blue beaded gavel, symbolic of calling the people together.
The honoring took place in “The Club” room of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center arena, overlooking the LNI sports action. About 50 people attended, including a state lawmaker, tribal educators, prominent tribal and business leaders, and members of the LNI board. Ed Young Man Afraid of His Horses rendered a prayer and song. Eight-year-old Justina Eve Pourier, of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Porcupine, provided musical selections.
Other United Tribes activities at the LNI included a student recruiting booth, demonstrations featuring one of the college’s new welding simulators, and participation in workshops and meetings.
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