Misty Thomas is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and a descendant of the Tlingit of Alaska. She has been the Director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit (DTSU), the Social Services Department for the Santee Sioux Nation for over 5 years. She administers the Child and Adult Protective Services., Indian Child Welfare Act, Independent Living, BIA Social Services, Native Employment Works Program, AmeriCorps, Tribal Youth Program Grant (the Horse Program), and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assualt Program. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences and her Master’s of Arts Degree in Sociology both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Misty is a single mother of two beautiful children and a survivor of domestic violence.
The dream of a shelter in Santee, NE has been on-going for several years with prior directors and DV Program staff. Misty started working on building the DV/SA Program budget up to be able to support a shelter and then the task came of finding the facility. Several meetings with the tribal council as well the tribal Housing Board were held and overcoming several obstacles, it was finally approved for DTSU to take possession of the current facility. The Otokahe Teca Tipi or New Beginnings House was obtained in July 2011 and we had our open house on September 20, 2011. The staff include Karen Redowl, DV Program Coordinator, and Lorene Thomas, Women’s Advocate. We also have three AmeriCorps members that assist us with the shelter – LeAnne Rouillard, Celia Thomas-Briaird, and Ila Redwing.