Our Organizational Structure:
The traditional Lakota Leadership Structure was based on Servant Leadership. Rather than the top-down structure we see today globally, this is based on a bottom-up organization.
Over the years, Indian Country has experienced corruption due to this top-down structure in organizations and governments. By the time the resources move through the top and “trickle down” to the people, there is not much left and it is not distributed in a fair way - often leading to inter-tribal mistrust, corruption, and a continued scarcity mindset.
We base our organization structure on traditional Lakota values. This is what makes us different, and it is why we will succeed.
Traditional Leadership Model:
In this traditional service leadership model, it all begins with the Can’Te or Nigi which is transated as the Self and Spirit. From there, your self then serves the Tiwahe, your Mother, Father, and siblings. Your Tiwahe then collectively works to serve your Tiyospaye, which is your extended family and immediate community. Your Tiyospaye then works together to serve the greater good of your Oyate, traditionally your tribe or band or these days you could perhaps see it as your Nation. Your Nation then works to serve the greater good of Wankan Tanka, which are all of the four nations of humanity (European, African, Asian, and Peoples of the Americas). This model creates harmony between all of the people through honor and service. It is clear that we have lost this way in modern times, with many only focused on how others can serve them, and not the other way around.
With the classic hierarchy of organizations, resources funnel into organizations to the leaders, the leaders decide what they will like to do with this, and then the resources are distributed as they decided. This does not work for the Lakota people because it is not aligned with the traditional way of life.
By empowering families. Our leadership model is that those in charge of the Tiyospaye, should be serving their Tiwahe and Tiyospaye the most. With this model and return to the traditional ways, we can empower the family heads by teaching them new practical skills and developing generational infrastructure to fulfill their Tiwahe’s food, housing, and security needs.
Once they have the skills and the tools, they can implement the solutions.