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Tim Giago: Fire Thunder shakes up establishment
Tuesday, December 6, 2005

"She was the first woman ever elected to serve as the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. For Cecilia Fire Thunder the going hasn’t been easy.

Fire Thunder came on board with the nearly impossible task of cleaning up more than 20 years of mismanagement. The entrenched bureaucracy famous among tribal members for its incompetence would surely strike back if they felt that their security was threatened.

Is there any way to clean up a mess that has been decades in the making without ruffling feathers? Apparently not! In order to make badly needed changes it required someone not afraid to wield a big stick. And unfortunately, wielding a big stick does not sit well with those who would just as soon sit on their false sense of security.

Fire Thunder shook up the establishment from day one. She appeared to be the proverbial “bull in the china shop.” When the bureaucracy is threatened it strikes back. And the entrenched leadership of the tribe must be looked upon as a bureaucracy."

Get the Story:
Notes from Indian Country (The Native American Times 12/5)

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