Sharon Lennartson, Chairwoman, Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community.
Sharon brings 17 years of Tribal and Community experience and leadership to her people.
One of the first things Sharon would like to see for her people is Federal Recognition, a Community Center, paid staff, and a culture and healing center. Sharon, along with others donate countless hours to their community.
Sharon has 3 wonderful sons, Sean, Dan, Joe, 2 grandchildren, Sam, and Nick, and one beautiful daughter-in-law Angela. Sharon has 3 sisters, Mickey, Beverly, Linda, and had two brothers whom have passed. Morris and Bob, Bob who was one of the founders of the Mendota Community..
She is widely recognized for her tireless efforts, dedication and sensitivity to preserving the culture of the Mendota Dakotas; and carries these virtues into the preservation of all indigenous cultures. Sharon’s strong business experience and leadership skills, describes her tenacity to getting the job done. She is a strong advocate for women’s equality and brings her skills to compliment the capabilities of our organization, and plays a key role in structuring and facilitating social/economic development programs for rural communities.
Sharon is not only a proud member of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe but she is also the organizer of events, collector of historical data, keeper of membership documents and much, much more. Sharon was voted Chairwoman in 2014. Sharon goes to all meetings and events related to the tribe.
Sharon shares the blood of both the Dakota and Annishinabe Native Americans. She is extremely proud of her Native American heritage. She is related to Cetanwakanmani, Big Thunder, and Little Crow; historical leaders of the Dakota People. Sharon is also related to Angelique Renville who married Hypolite DuPuis. She embraces the religious and cultural aspects of it and they are a part of her everyday life. She takes part in Native ceremonies and encourages others of our Tribal Community to do the same. She loves our culture and looks to the Creator whenever things get tough.
When questions arise, it only takes a few minutes before someone says, “Let’s ask Sharon; she’ll know the answer.” Although Sharon did not grow up in the traditional Dakota way, she now focuses on learning the language and traditions of the people and is involved in many of the historic remembrances of lives lost and promises broken for the Dakota.
Count on Sharon to be on the move most of the time caring for the needs of the people. She is especially concerned for elders and assists them in any way that she is able. Sharon has many moments of calmness.
Sharon is very proud Dakota elder. You will hear her say (Be Dakota Every Day!). A saying from her brother Bob Brown who is in the spirit world, and one of the founders of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe.
Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related)
Her spirit name is “Good Thunder Woman” (English), or “Wakiya Waste Win” (Dakota)