When Terra Branson last joined the show, she just started her job at SGCEC as the Executive Director. Two years later, we discuss her adjustment and growth in the role. Part of her experience includes settling into her community of McAlester, Oklahoma. Like many that move to a new community, Terra experienced the challenge of building new friendships after college and in her professional career.
We discussed identifying your skill sets, how to use those in your career, and how often times others see those skills in you before you see them in yourself.Continue reading →
“What do [you] feel you are good at and feel you can contribute to your community?”
When I spoke to Kayla Gebeck, the thing that jumped out at me was her enthusiasm to try new things, start new adventures, with the goal of preserving her language. After not traveling far beyond the upper Midwest, Kayla traveled to a Pueblo, then to Hawaii, and ultimately to New Zealand. Her goal was to learn how different communities were working to to preserve their languages.So while she was able to explore personally, and expand her horizons, the skills she was learning would help future Ojibwe speakers.
Before it was over, Kayla studied in London and was able to connect the work people do in developing countries and relate that to Indian Country and visa versa. We talked about making connections outside of Indian Country and how these connections can create lasting ripples of interest or awareness with Indian Country.
Kayla’s story is really interesting to see all that she’s been able to accomplish already. And more importantly, that her community is the driving force for her work.
Kayla Gebeck is a public affairs advisor at Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the firm’s Native American Law Practice Group. Ms. Gebeck provides assistance to tribal governments and their enterprises on legislative and regulatory matters. Her areas of focus include education, healthcare, housing, social services, natural resources, environment, self-governance, trust land and federal relations.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Gebeck served as a policy analyst for the Native American Finance Officers Association. In this position, Ms. Gebeck advocated the views and concerns of tribal governments in the areas of access to capital, tax and finance policy, in addition to preparing reports and broadcasts that alerted tribal members on new guidance and/or legislation affecting their governments and enterprises.
While attending the University of London, Ms. Gebeck served as a photographer for the Global Coordinating Group Indigenous Media Team, which covered the preparatory meeting for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in Alta, Norway, and conducted research for Legal Action Worldwide in an effort to build the legal capacity of conflict-affected governments.
“I never thought of myself as pitiful”… “but I struggled with the injustice of our history”–Jodi Gillette
Indian Country is humble. It encourages, as discussed on a previous episode, leadership as service. Jodi Gillette is a great example of this leadership style.
Jodi Gillette’s Roots
Jodi Gillette is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She grew up in Kyle, South Dakota. Jodi describes herself as one of the most fortunate people in the country because of where she is from. As a child she was surrounded by family and friends. Sports, ceremonies, and powwows were central to her childhood.
Jodi Gillette, photo courtesy of Jolynne Woodcock.
Her upbringing provided a solid foundation for her education and career. Jodi became well known throughout Indian Country through her service in the White House under President Obama. She was a policy advisor to President Obama on Native American affairs, and served in other key positions throughout her tenure in the administration. She now serves as a policy advisor at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLP.
In this episode of the Lakota Voices series, we discuss Jodi’s background further and how she ended up in the administration. The episode covers a lot of ground, and we didn’t get to discuss other aspects of Jodi’s life that has also received significant attention.Continue reading →