RAPID CITY, S.D. — While the nation has had eyes on the 2020 Presidential Election, members of the Oglala Lakota Tribe had elections of their own.
Incoming President and Vice President Kevin Killer and Alicia Mousseau are ready to get to work restoring trust and pride in the native community. A native of Porcupine, South Dakota, Mousseau holds her community in high regard, and has always wanted to be a public servant.
She received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Wyoming and began working in Pine Ridge during her undergrad years. She said while classmates were deciding where they wanted to work, she had always known she would be returning home.
“I do think our community is a big part of my life,” said Mousseau. “I always like to say, our community raised me. Because we all have aunties and uncles and grandmas and grandpas, and huka relatives, and we all know each other, and we go to high school together and we take in each other’s families.”
Mousseau prioritizes working with the community, and ran with the slogan, “Together We Can.” She had several running points, and a major element of her campaign was the push to create a STEAM and research center.
“We have a lot of steam programs in our schools, even in our childcare program,” Mousseau said. “And so, being a researcher myself, and having come home and had to figure it out and navigate that. We always tell our students to go to school or get their education so that they can provide and work in our community, and so we need places for them to land.”
Utilizing her background in clinical psychology, she also wants to develop trauma or healing informed communities, and highlight the voices of the people in the community in need of help.
“By having that, we’ll have a better understanding of those things we talked about,” Mousseau said. “Suicide, or substance use, if we really approach it from that trauma-informed lens of saying what happened instead of what’s wrong with you.”
Mousseau will not take office until December, but is excited to get to work.