Community Advisory Group

Our Community Advisory Group (CAG) is dedicated to fostering collaboration and engagement with Indigenous communities across North and South Dakota. By bridging the gap between academia and Indigenous knowledge, the CAG aims to facilitate meaningful dialogue and co-create solutions that address real-world challenges.

Community Advisory Group members

  • Willard Clifford

    • Water Systems Manager, Oglala Sioux Tribe Water Maintenance Department
    • Oglala Sioux Tribe

    Willard has had a longstanding career as the Water Systems Manager at the Oglala Sioux Tribe Water Maintenance Department in Martin, SD. Willard was interviewed for a news article in 2019, “A Promise Unfulfilled: Water Pipeline Stops Short for Sioux Reservation."

  • Manuela Maldonado

    • Research Assistant, Missouri Breaks Industries Research Inc.
    • Oglala Sioux Tribe

    Manuela was raised on a cattle ranch/wheat farm on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She is now the host of a radio program, called the Unci (Grandmother) Show that airs on KILI Radio “Voice of the Lakota Nation.” Manuela and her family appeared in the Disney movie Hidalgo. Her great great grandfather was Horned Chips, or Woptuha, a medicine man and brother to Chief Crazy Horse.

  • Reno Red Cloud

    • Administrator, Natural Resources Regulatory Agency / Water Resources Department
    • Oglala Sioux Tribe

    Reno Red Cloud is a board member of the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance (former chairman 2014-2017), OST Environmental Health Technical Team, and Missouri River Recovery and Implementation Committee (2018-present). He has worked for the Oglala Sioux Tribe for over 30 years in different Water Programs. Reno revised the OST Water Code originally written in 1985 and updated it on October 5, 2015. He administers, manages and enforces the water code for the protection and preservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe ground and surface water resources. Reno is sixth generation descendant of the Oglala Lakota ‘Chief Red Cloud’ and graduated high school from San Jose’ High School in 1978 and came back home in 1978 to work for the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

  • Francine Red Willow, RN

    • Recruiter, Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc.
    • Oglala Sioux Tribe

    Francine is a retired nurse and currently works as a Recruiter for Missouri Breaks on the Strong Heart Study with participants from the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Francine received her nursing education from Sioux Valley Hospital School of Nursing. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Oglala Lakota College.

  • Lauryn Clown

    • Land Grant Operation Specialist, United Tribes Technical College
    • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

    Lauryn is currently working as the Land Grant Operation Specialist at United Tribes Technical College, which has allowed her to share learned and lived experiences from her Thiwahe on sustainable agriculture and food systems as a national level. Lauryn is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and graduated from Eagle Butte High School in 2019. She recently completed an AAS degree in Sustainable Ag & Food Systems and will begin studying Environmental Science and Research at United Tribes Technical College in the Summer of 2023.

  • Grady Kraft

    • Maintenance Tech, Medicine Wheel Village
    • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

    Grady worked for the City of Timber Lake from 2004 – 2009 as the Finance Officer, and this is where he learned about the Fox Hills aquifer that supplies water in the Timber Lake area.  He is currently employed as a Maintenance Tech for Medicine Wheel Village in Eagle Butte and has been a volunteer fire fighter for 29 years which has also taught him the importance of knowing where good water sources are located. Grady grew up enjoying the outdoors, fishing and hunting, and still spends as much time as he can doing both with all of his family.

  • Laila Gourd

    • Ungergraduate Student, University of Minnesota
    • Spirit Lake Tribe

    Laila interned with the Nature Conservancy and Utah State University through a new program called “N.A.T.U.R.E.” in the summer of 2023. She learned about different aspects of the ecosystems in the Southwest region and completed an individual capstone project. The program included Traditional Ecological knowledge ‘TEK’, food sovereignty initiatives, and tribal land management practices. Laila also did a summer internship with the Cankdeska Cikana Community College, under their land grant program which taught her valuable skills, like a hard work ethic, gardening and tilling practices, and patience. Laila is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota studying environmental science, policy and management with a concentration in conservation and resource management, as well as a minor in Indigenous studies.

  • Marissa Gourd

    • Undergraduate Student, Dartmouth College
    • Spirit Lake Tribe

    Marissa was an Undergraduate Summer Researcher with the Native American Research Internship Program where she explored molecular mechanisms of developmental plasticity among nematodes. She helped collect water samples for Superfund Project 1 as a Missouri Breaks Intern in 2023. Marissa is an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies in June 2025. She is Co-President of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Chapter at Dartmouth College.