Native Youth Leadership Alliance

Alli Moran

Hān Mítakuyāpi! Ćajé mítāwakí Alli Moran emacíyāpí kštō! Wānblí Paha na Wakpā Wašté el watí! Čanté wašté napé čiyuzāpé!

Hello my relatives! My name is Alli Moran I am from Eagle Butte, South Dakota. I am a young Lakota woman from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. I shake your hand with a good heart!

I attend the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) located in the beautiful high desert and mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am an Indigenous Liberal Studies major and also studying in the Business & Entrepreneurship program. I am passionate to more deeply understand our historical and traditional forms of Tribal governance, so that we can restore these systems of governance in our contemporary societies so they are more in line with our value systems.

The focus of my research and my senior thesis is on the Očetí Šakowín -7 Council Fires and I am studying how the Očetí Šakowín functioned and am comparing it to my contemporary Tribal government system by finding ways in which the Očetí Šakowín could apply to today’s paradigm. Our Tribal Council systems aren’t our historical forms of relating to one another and leading our communities, and I want to focus my leadership on making these leadership councils more reflective of our communities and cultures.


I focus on and value education. I truly believe in Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU’s) as being incubators for future tribal leaders. Within the TCU’s we have some very strong leaders learning the Indigenous knowledge that makes up our cultures and progresses us forward into our futures. TCU’s are unique because they are one of a kind institutions of higher learning that are rooted in the needs and to the cultures of the students. I think that TCUs revitalize people’s cultures, and they bring Indian Country together at a level that is unattainable otherwise. In the future I would like to create a program for TCU graduates to work with the Student Congress as Advisors, which hopefully could be implemented into the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

Education is knowledge and knowledge is sacred. I hope to utilize my education by progressing onto law school and to start my own law firm on my reservation that will provide services and opportunities to tribal members.

My leadership background includes:
Research Assistant at the American Indian Development Associates
FOX Entertainment Group Diversity Development American Indian Summer Institute
Discover Law Plus Program/Native American Scholars Program
IAIA Associated Student Government Vice President
American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Student Congress President 2012-13
Native Youth Leadership Alliance – 2013 Fellow

I will graduate from IAIA in May of 2014, and will continue on to law school or attend the Graduate Program in Public Administration and Federal Indian Policy at Evergreen State College and then continue on to law school; I am currently planning this out. After I complete these goals I plan to return home to start my own law firm for my tribal nation. Currently I am home for the summer and will attend the Lakota Summer Institute program, I plan to finish my senior thesis and documentary, and I will also be working on the first draft of my chapter contribution to a book titled “Gathering Wisdom: Insights on Higher Education from Indigenous Leaders.”

Currently, I am looking for support for a group I plan to start, which will support Lakota/Dakota/Nakota college undergrads aspiring to go into law school and become lawyers for our Great Sioux Nation. If any of you are interested or if you have resources to any current Lakota/Dakota/Nakota law students or lawyers, please feel free to contact me.

Wopílā Tānkā! Thank you very much to all of you for supporting, believing in and promoting young leaders of NYLA.

Always think and speak with your heart, because when your heart and mind are one – the words you speak and thoughts you think – will have wisdom and true meaning.

– Shelley Alkire-Moran (My ína – mom)