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Arnell D. Abold, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, has been appointed to the position of the Business Development Director for Tanka Resilient Agriculture Company (TRAC), a Tanka Fund Company.

Ms. Abold comes to TRAC and Tanka Fund with an extensive history and background in buffalo restoration efforts and working with 75+ Tribes, tribal communities and community members to return buffalo to tribal lands and the people.  Her previous position was spent as the Executive Director for 4 years (2017 - 2021) and 16 years (2001 -2017) as the Fiscal Director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council.  Ms. Abold's prior experience included experience as the Finance Officer to the Treasurer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe; a Business Manager for Red Cloud Indian School, as well as a Business Manager for American Horse Indian School.  Prior to graduating from the University of South Dakota Vermillion, Ms. Abold was selected to participate in the prestigious Walt Disney World College Program for an internship in Orlando, Florida.  This internship was the jumping point for her career working in the hospitality industry in Orlando Florida as a Finance Director for a property management company.  In 1994 Ms. Abold returned home to South Dakota where she currently continues to reside. 

Ms. Abold's educational background consists of an MBA in Business Administration as well as an MM in Human Resource Management, both of which were obtained from National American University in Rapid City, South Dakota.  She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. 

Throughout her life and career, Ms. Abold not only gained valuable experience along with insightful knowledge, but she also learned to be open to continually being willing to learn, grow and step up to challenges.   The Buffalo have been a part of her life and story for 20 years and it was through the Buffalo that her connection to her culture and spirituality became visible. She continues to devote her career to the vision of seeing Buffalo on the land, believing that the Buffalo are the connection for our people to believe in a better tomorrow and together we can help create a reality that empowers us to live not only a better today but, inspires us to keep fighting for a better future for the people, the land and the Buffalo. 

Session: Return of the Bison, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm, June 23

Francie M. Berg is a teacher, historian and author of 17 books, with strong homestead and ranching roots in the Old West. Born at home in the Missouri River Breaks, she grew up on a Montana ranch and lives in Hettinger, North Dakota, within a few miles of her grandparents’ South Dakota homestead and the center of a fascinating buffalo heritage of which she writes in Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes and its companion book Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains.

For over 35 years she has been researching buffalo, read most all the books on the subject, visited many public, commercial and tribal herds, talked and visited with bison ranchers, climbed some of the most famous buffalo jumps in the Rocky Mountains, US and Canada, and wrote three books about the buffalo. Her other books on western history include: Montana Stirrups, Sage & Shenanigans, North Dakota Land of Changing Seasons, South Dakota Land of Shining Gold, Wyoming Land of Echoing Canyons and Ethnic Heritage in North Dakota.

Francie Berg has worked as a county extension agent, and taught high school, college and adult education.  A licensed nutritionist and graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman, she has a master’s degree in Family Social Studies and Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.

Books on Buffalo include: Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains, winner of three national awards, Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes, a Self-Guided Tour, and The Last Great Buffalo Hunts: Traditional Hunts in 1880-1883 by Teton Lakota (back ordered).

Session: Fieldtrip Synopsis: Southwest North Dakota



Taylor Syvertson serves as Director of Ending Hunger 2.0 at the Great Plains Food Bank. Her team is focused on addressing the root causes of hunger like poverty, chronic disease, and other structural disparities. That means working to advance solutions at the intersection of hunger and health, reducing poverty through economic mobility efforts, advancing equity for our neighbors who have been historically marginalized, and using representative research and data to lift up the experience of hunger for our neighbors in need.
Taylor is an active member of the Community Development Society, Cass Clay Hunger Coalition, Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota Coalition and current United Way Cass-Clay 35 Under 35 participant. Taylor is a proud NDSU alum and makes her home in Fargo with her husband, Eric, and their son, Thalo. 
Larry C. Skogen served as the sixth president of Bismarck State College from
2007-2013 and 2015-2020. He served as Interim Chancellor of the North Dakota University System from 2013-2015. An Hettinger, N.D., native and career U.S. Air Force officer, Skogen holds a Ph. D. in History from Arizona State University. The author of Indian Depredation Claims, 1796-1920, as well as articles and reviews in historical journals, he describes himself first and foremost as an historian – one of the things he has turned his focus to upon retiring from BSC.

Session: Symposium Moderator, June 23

Daniel Glick is an Emmy-winning director, producer, writer, cinematographer and editor who has worked on projects of all types including documentaries, narrative films, comedies, commercials and web series.

These projects have garnered more than a dozen awards and span a range of topics that Daniel is passionate about: social justice, indigenous rights, wildlife, the arts, science, conservation, and prison reform.

His first feature documentary film, A Place to Stand, the true story of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, broadcast nationally on PBS in 2018, and three of his most recent personal projects - Our Last Refuge, Iniskim, and Bring Them Home - are all short films set on the Blackfeet Reservation that he worked on with Blackfeet tribal members. He is currently working on a feature documentary about the Blackfoot Confederacy's work to bring wild bison back to their ancestral lands.

Session: Documentary Presentation: Bring Them Home
Erik Holland, UND BA in anthropology and archaeology, and a MA in History with Certificates in Museum Studies and Public History from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, serves as the Curator of Education with the State Historical Society of North Dakota. He was recognized as the Environmental Educator of the Year in 2018.  In more than forty years educating and interpreting objects and places for the public, Erik has worked at historic sites and museums in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Minnesota, including Fort Clark State Historic Site and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.  The interplay and tension that is necessary to provide quality interpretive programming dealing with difficult cultural issues interests Holland. Helping audiences appreciate cultural stories from various perspectives, using landscapes, objects, and hands-on opportunities to engage them, has been his work.

Session: Return of the Bison: A Panel Discussion
Photo Courtesy of Shane Balkowitsch

Dakota Wind Goodhouse is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Goodhouse has a B.A. in Theology and a M.A. in History. He is a PhD candidate at NDSU in History. Goodhouse teaches U.S. History and Native American Studies at United Tribes Technical College. He is the editor and writer of "The First Scout," a blog about the history and culture of the Northern Plains. 

Wet Plate Photography by Shane Balowitsch.

Session: Cultural and Historical Significance of the American Bison


Dan Flores: A native of Louisiana and currently a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous magazines. He is the author of ten books, most recently American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, the Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize winner in 2017, and Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, which is a New York Times Bestseller, winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and a 2017 Finalist for PEN America’s E. O. Wilson Prize in Literary Science Writing. His current project, “Wild New World: America’s Animals Confront Humanity” is a big history of the human/wild animal story and will be published by W. W. Norton in 2022.

Session: Why Does the Buffalo Matter?

Kevin Locke (Tokaheya Inajin in Lakota translation “First to Rise”) is a world famous visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of the Indigenous Northern Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator.   Kevin is Lakota and Anishnabe.  While his instructions were received from his immediate family and community, from extended family in every part of the world, Kevin has learned many lessons in global citizenship and how we each can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage.

With nearly 40 years of performing to over hundreds of thousands of people in over 90 countries, Kevin Locke’s concerts and presentations at performing art centers, festivals, schools, universities, conferences, state and national parks, monuments and historic sites, powwows and reservations number in the hundreds annually.

80 percent of Kevin’s presentations are performed thru the educational system and shared with children of all ages in schools, community centers and festivals internationally.  As a folk artist, he uses his talents to teach others about his specific tribal background.  His special joy is working with children on the reservations to ensure the survival and growth of indigenous culture.

Session: Reception at North Dakota Heritage Center

Andrew Isenberg is the Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of seven books, including The Destruction of the Bison:  An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (2000; second edition, 2020); Mining California:  An Ecological History (2005); and Wyatt Earp:  A Vigilante Life (2013).
Session: Destruction of the Bison


Chris Widga is a paleontologist who studies deep time North American
landscapes. Originally from Nebraska, Widga completed a PhD at the University of Kansas with a focus on two things: the fossil record of Bison, and the brief period of overlap between people and extinct megafauna at the end of the last Ice Age. This was followed by nine years as curator of geology at the Illinois State Museum where he developed a research program concentrating on the paleoecology and extinction dynamics of Ice Age animals. For the last six years, Widga has been Head Curator at the Gray Fossil Site & Museum at East Tennessee State University. His active research includes the history of North American grasslands, bison population dynamics over the last 20,000 years, and the evolution and extinction of North American elephants such as mammoths and mastodons.

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