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President's Bio

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Lakota), whose Lakota name Wacinyanpi Win means “they depend on her,” has more than 30 years of experience working in education for adults, higher education, and K-12 with Native American institutions. Crazy Bull is experienced with community and organization development with strong skills in strategic planning, assessment and evaluation, public relations, and fundraising. In addition to her experience with education, she has worked extensively with tribal economic development, entrepreneurship, and development of cultural arts and outreach programming.

Crazy Bull served as the President of Northwest Indian College (NWIC), a regional tribally-controlled institution located on the Lummi Nation in Washington, for 10 years. During her tenure at NWIC, the college became a four-year degree-granting institution and completed substantial campus improvements, including seven new buildings as part of a capital campaign. The focus on capacity building of NWIC as a tribal college resulted in the creation of two unique bachelor’s programs in Native Environmental Science and Native Studies Leadership. Prior to joining NWIC, Crazy Bull served as the superintendent of St. Francis Indian School; and in several teaching and administrative capacities at Sinte Gleska University, both on her home reservation, Rosebud in South Dakota.

Having served four years as the Chair of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Board, Crazy Bull recently completed four years as member-at-large of the AIHEC Executive Committee. She served on the boards of the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center. Crazy Bull was a member of the United Way Board for Whatcom County and of the Rotary Club of Bellingham. She was a founding member of the Northern Plains Tribal Art Show and Market held annually in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She served in economic development leadership capacities through membership on the economic development committees of both the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Lummi Nation.

Crazy Bull was honored for her leadership in Indian education and community development through an Enduring Spirit Award from Native Action Network in 2011; as one of three finalists for Whatcom County Business Person of the Year in 2012; and with honorary doctorates from Sinte Gleska University and Seattle University. Crazy Bull is also an established writer, particularly on issues pertinent to Indian education and research, and frequently speaks at conferences and other public forums.

Crazy Bull graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in business management and South Dakota State University with a master’s degree in education administration. She was a member of a cohort of Native educators who participated in a reservation-based master’s program funded in part by the Bush Foundation as a collaboration of South Dakota State University, Sinte Gleska University, and Oglala Lakota College. Crazy Bull was also an outstanding alumna of the South Dakota State University College of Education, and received a special achievement award from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe as a result of this accomplishment.

 

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Cheryl Crazy Bull
(Sicangu Lakota) 
President & CEO of the American Indian College Fund since 2012.