Tiger Brown Bull is a 2015 National Center “Native American 40 Under 40” awardee.
PINE RIDGE, S.D. — The Oglala Sioux Tribe is preparing to fight the battle against suicide well into the future, according to the tribe’s Executive Director, Tiger Brown Bull.
A graduate of Little Wound High School, Brown Bull, 30, also graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors and just recently left law school at Michigan State University to take on the daunting job of managing the day-to-day operations of one of North America’s most highly populated tribal nations, the Oglala Sioux Tribe in southwestern South Dakota.
Brown Bull is responsible for the day to day operations of more than 80 tribal programs and nearly 1000 employees.
“Right now we have 87 programs that are under my responsibility,” said Brown Bull. “We are working on taking all them and compartmentalizing them under specific parts of tribal government.”
In November, news reports surfaced that the funding for OST’s most prominent suicide prevention program, Sweet Grass Project, was set to be discontinued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Misinformation in the articles created a narrative of the tribe lacked the preparedness to continue its battle against suicide.
Brown Bull took issue with the coverage and says that the reports were misleading as the tribe is proactive in its efforts to take on the monumental challenge of stopping the scourge of suicides.
“There were reports that made it seem like we weren’t prepared but we knew in early October there was a chance that the funding for Sweet Grass would be discontinued,” said Brown Bull. “We are prepared to continue to step up our efforts against suicide and we have been putting together a strategic plan that will pool the resources we already have in place and to use our current programs to make up any difference in services had Sweet Grass not been granted the emergency extension.”
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) announced its 2015 class of “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients in October and hosted a night of celebration in November at RES New Mexico. The prestigious award is bestowed upon individuals under the age of 40, nominated by members of their communities, who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and their community.