Our Vision

We are a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors. Our homelands are located in the vast grassland of Turtle Island, situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River and stretching from the Northern Tundra to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Our People

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Sikowis Nobiss, BA, MA

Founder and Executive Director

Nehiyaw/Nahkawiyinîwiw

George Gordon First Nation

Sikowis@greatplainsaction.org

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Ronnie James

Administration & Mutual Aid

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Mahmud Fitil, BS

Land Defense Organizer

Qırımlı

Crimean Tatar Nation

mfitil@greatplainsaction.org

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Alexandrea Walker

Youth Political Engagement 

Ho-Chunk

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

caxsepziiga@greatplainsaction.org 

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Regina Tsosie

BOD Secretary

Diné 

Navajo Nation

Sage Sisters of Solidarity

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Terrance Medina

BOD Treasurer

Santee Sioux and Dakota

Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska

Fatherhood is Sacred

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Shelley Buffalo

BOD Member

Meskwaki

Meskwaki Nation

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Trisha Cax-Sep-Gu-Wiga Etringer, BA

Operations & MMIR Director

Ho-Chunk

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

tetringer@greatplainsaction.org

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Jessica Engelking, BA, MA

Representation Director

Anishinaabe 

Decendant of  White Earth Band of Ojibwe

jengelking@greatplainsaction.org 

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Lance Foster, BA, MA, MLA

Elder Advisor

Ioway

Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska

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Keely Driscoll

Youth Political Engagement 

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Carolyn Raffensperger, MA, JD

BOD Vice Chair

Executive Director

Science & Envronmental Health Network

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Karen Mackey

BOD Chair

Santee Sioux

Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska

Siouxland Pride Alliance

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History

Resist and Indigenize

GPAS started to build in 2014 and became an official non-profit in 2017 with two full-time staff, two part-time staff, and two youth interns. Founder, Sikowis Nobiss, who started organizing over twenty-five years ago during the Burnt Church Indigenous fisheries crisis in New Brunswick, Canada, saw that Iowa needed more Indigenous voices to speak up for the Earth. During the NoDAPL resistance movement in 2016, she created a platform for Great Plains Action Society to empower Indigenous voices in Iowa concerning extreme resource extraction perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry. During this fight, GPAS worked tirelessly in both Iowa and North Dakota, bridging the gap between Indigenous communities and rural landowners. This led GPAS to form Little Creek Camp, an Indigenous-led resistance hub in Iowa and to finally register as a 501(c)4 that is 100% Indigenous run. Our efforts have truly brought the voice and actions of Indigenous Peoples to the forefront of Iowa’s climate movement, which is much needed in the most biologically colonized state in the country and the number one contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico due to colonial-capitalist farming practices. By uplifting traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge, we are making it clear that Iowa needs to rematriate prairie, bring back first foods and increase Indigenous land stewardship.