Tasha Peltier

Tasha Peltier
Location: Mobridge, South Dakota Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Culture and Language, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Elder Care, End of Life/Late Stage Care, Food Systems and Nutrition, Health Care Access, LGBTQ+ Health, Maternal and Infant Health, Public, Population and Community Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Children and Families, Native/Tribal/Indigenous People, Rural Communities, Women's Health
Co-Executive Director
Mni Wichoni Health Circle

Tasha has had the privilege of engaging in work focused on reclaiming the inherent health and wellness practices of her home communities of Standing Rock Indian Reservation. This work has been accomplished through the nonprofit organization, Mni Wichoni Health Circle. This organization is led primarily by Indigenous women, including Tasha, who serves as co-executive director. They have been intentional about centering their organization and work around culture and ancestral knowledge. For generations, colonization has negatively impacted Indigenous communities through harmful practices intended to assimilate Indigenous people into mainstream society, and in some cases, to eliminate Indigenous communities completely. These efforts were enacted through public policy and oppressive systems that attempted to push Indigenous people away from their own culture and values. The Mni Wichoni Health Circle has worked to co-create, with community, a culturally centered plan to improve health and wellness through culturally sustaining practices.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Standing Rock Tribe Communications Platform for Traditional Lifeways
Due to colonization and attempts at forced assimilation, there has been a disruption in the passing of valuable teachings, traditional ceremonies, and language for the members of the Standing Rock tribe. Reclaiming traditional lifeways as Dakota/Lakota people is crucial to their continued existence and ability to thrive. My plan is to utilize modern approaches to reclaim those practices is intended to share the mission and vision of the Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm while also encouraging community members to engage in reconnecting with these practices. Mobilizing a communication platform will allow information to be shared and stories to be told in a manner that is accessible to the community. It will provide the necessary tools to create understanding, develop or strengthen partnerships, and identify actionable efforts that can help improve overall community health within the Standing Rock tribe. This platform will be beneficial to the existing programs and initiatives that are working toward creating a healthy and thriving community and will also strive to create new, meaningful relationships. The committed network of partnerships that the Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm has developed since its inception in 2019 will be integral to ensuring this project’s success.

Tasha is Hunkpapa Lakota and an enrolled citizen of the Standing Rock Nation. As a Culture of Health Leader, she has been motivated to challenge how dominant society views health and to create pathways for Indigenous communities to reclaim and uplift their own ways of healing and wellness.

Click here to watch Tasha’s Legacy Project video.