ANN VALANDRA, MA
Ann recently began working with Wiconi Wakan because she is concerned about the future of our Wakanyejan and family members who are veterans and deal with suicidal ideation and PTSD. As a mother of four children, she understands that suicide has impacted all of our lives here on the Rosebud. She is hoping that WWHHC, as a program; can began to help the families heal by providing resources and support for their own individualized path to healing.
After spending nearly ten years at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Alcohol & Drug Treatment Program, Ann made the decision to come on board for this new program with a focus for healing and support. Ann is a lifelong resident of the Rosebud community and truly believes that the answer for healing is here within ourselves and the Lakota culture- it is important for healing and our own personal well-being. She likes the quote, "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else" because that is what she would like to see happen more often around the reservation.
Ann previously worked at the Tribal Education Department for eleven years and with Sinte Gleska University for five years. Over the years, she has gained a lot of personal knowledge and wants to find a way to help our families begin healing. Ann has a bachelor's degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Vocational Rehabilitation and a Master's degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Mental Health. She also has degrees in business.
LILA LEADER CHARGE, LPN, BA, MSW
Lila Rose Leader Charge is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud, SD and also part of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Oglala Lakota on her maternal side. Lila was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in Parmelee, SD. Lila is the mother of Allisyn Rae Plank. Lila is the daughter of Shirley Bad Wound and Paul Leader Charge. Lila’s step-father is Larry Wright. Lila obtained her Associate of Arts in Licensed Practical Nursing at the Sinte Gleska University in 2008 and also obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services in 2012 at the Sinte Gleska University. Lila completed the Pre-Law Summer Institute at the American Indian Law Center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM in 2013. Lila obtained her Master of Social Work from the University of South Dakota in 2018. Her latest position prior to Wiconi Wakan was with the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, Home Health Care Program in New Town, ND as the MSW.
GERALDINE PROVENCIAL, MA
Geraldine Provencial is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a member of the Rosebud Community. Geraldine completed her elementary, middle, and high school education here on the reservation. She graduated with her Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree in the mental health track from the local Sinte’Gleska University. Geraldine completed her graduate studies at the South Dakota State University earning her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She also completed her internship hours at the local IHS-Behavioral Health department.Geraldine has worked, studied, and trained in the counseling field of support for many years. She has experience and training in Suicide Prevention/Awareness, and Support. She has experience working with incarcerated individuals through individual or group therapy in the local Adult Corrections Facility. Geraldine is a strong believer of the Mental Health field and well-being. She brings with her information and techniques about self-care and individual support.
Raffaella Rainieri, MA, LAC
My name is Raffaella Rainieri, I have an eight year old son, I am originally from Italy and became a US citizen in 2013. In Italy, I worked as a Psychologist/psychotherapist in my private practice with adults and in a mental health department of a children's hospital with children and adolescents from 1988 to 1998. In this country, I took a Master at USD in counseling in 2003 and I am a licensed addiction counselor. I have worked on the Rosebud reservation from 2002 to 2014 in different programs, I have felt at home on the Rosebud and my work at the school as a counselor, at the Wellness Program, at the RST Alcohol treatment Program and at Sinte Gleska University as an Instructor for the BA and Master program gave me the opportunity to serve the people of this community that I always felt in my heart as my own. After suffering a heart attack, I moved to Sturgis SD and worked in a treatment program (Northern Hills treatment Center) from 2014 to 2019 until I was offered a job opportunity as a mental health specialist at Wiconi Wakan. Working for Wiconi Wakan is my call back home and to support and be helpful to those who suffer the most among the people of Rosebud. I am thankful for the warmth, friendship, solidarity of many friends and family in this community that welcoming me back home. I feel committed in being of help and support working with a strong team at Wiconi Wakan, devoted to accomplishing a great mission to effectively prevent suicide staying rooted in the Lakota ways of being.
GABRIEL GOOD SHIELD
I’m an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Nation aka God's people) and am from the Wiwila Wakpa Community. Also, I am an alumni of Saint Francis Indian School, class of 2010. I am also an alumni of Haskell Indian Nations University and graduated from there with an Associates of Arts in Health, Physical Education and Recreation and Bachelors of Arts in Indigenous and American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Justice. Before I started here at Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center as a Behavioral Health Outreach Worker, my former employment of two years was with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Adult Correctional Facility as a Correctional Officer. As I take on this new position with Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center. I envision that there will be hope for our Sicangu Oyate and to have our Oyate be suicide free.
My name is Arnetta “Rosie” Montoya. I am one of the Behavioral Health Outreach Workers here at The Wiconi Wakan Health & Healing Center. I come from the Hakikta Najin (Stands and Looks Back) family. I have 4 children; Ashton, Mackenzie, Brealyn, and Braedyn. We live in the Butte Creek Community in Wood, SD. Before working here at Wiconi Wakan, I worked at the Alcohol & Drug Treatment for a total of 9 years. I also served 3 years on the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council from 2015-2017. I’m very excited to work with Wiconi Wakan and to be part of a program who are going to be helping our people. I think a lot of us are/was effected by suicide, myself included. This program will help not only the individual but the family as well, which is very important. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to someone. You are loved more than you’ll ever know.
My name is Alicia V. Hernandez. I am a member of Rosebud Sioux Tribe and my family and I are from Rosebud Community. I have lived in the community for majority of my life. I maintain a alcohol and drug free lifestyle. I am a single mother of now four children. I recently lost my oldest son. The loss of him was a very traumatic experience for me and my family. My son was loved, missed dearly and he will continue to live through us. I also am a part time caregiver for my elderly mother who has not only recently recovered from a injury, but had a lot of illnesses during these past years- 72 yrs young and she is such a strong lady!
On a positive note, I have to add: my oldest daughter is in her first year of college and attending YALE University! We are extremely proud of her and her accomplishments and continue to support her along the way. I'm currently attending college at Sinte Gleska University. I’m finishing up my degree in Human Services, working towards Mental Health. Life has been a roller coaster but it’s getting done! I am very thankful to have a support system and keep moving forward.
I believe we as people come across hardships and heartaches we have the ability to stand back up. It changes you to only give you strength. We all live differently but share the same goal in life, and that is to be happy and healthy. I am looking forward to bringing a positive change and help create a healthy lifestyle where it’s needed. Good energy goes a long way. My goal is to challenge as many people to use their energy and stand up against their hardships.
I was born and raised in Pine Ridge SD. I have lived in Rosebud for the past 24 years. I have 5 children and one grandson. My education background is in human services/mental health. I attended college at University of Minnesota and SGU. My life work has been in the helping profession, helping our relatives in the communities. I spent the last 11 years as Director of Victims Services for White Buffalo Calf Women’s Society. I’m excited to be part of something so important to our people.