Native Baha'i - Indigenous Baha'i -

Sioux - Lakota / Dakota Bahais

Contemporary Native Baha'is
Lakota - Dakota

Joye Braun, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and has been active in the Baha'i Faith since a little girl. She is an accomplished journalist and photojournalist with credits in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Argus Leader, and Tribal College Journal. She was instrumental in securing free press on her reservation when she worked as Managing Editor for the Si Tanka Vision, the second tribal college newspaper that was ever in publication. She also worked as the Si Tanka University publicist for the STU Eagle Butte campus. Other jobs Mrs. Braun has worked with is in customer service, and has had successful small business ventures. Mrs. Braun currently lives on her reservation where she continues to work for the betterment of her People. You can contact Joye through her Facebook page or click here

Contemporary Native Baha'is

Nadema Agard (Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan) is a visual artist, illustrator, curator, educator, lecturer, storyteller, writer, poet, published author, museum professional, Indigenous rights advocate and consultant in Repatriation and Multicultural/Native American arts and cultures. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Art and Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University and is currently the Director of Red Earth Studio Consulting / Productions in New York City. You can contact Nadema through her website: or click here for her Facebook page.

Mary Louse Swift Eagle the first Dakota Baha'i

Mary Louise Swift Eagle - The first Lakota/Dakota Baha'i was Mary Louise Swift Eagle who declared as a Baha'i in December 1954. She was from Devil's Lake (Spirit Lake) Fort Totten, North Dakota. She was a graduate of Carlisle Indian School.

Margaret Brown - Dakota Baha'i

Margaret Brown was the second Lakota/Dakota Baha'i she was also from Devils Lake (Spirit Lake) North Dakota.

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Frank Fools Crow Oglala Lakota Baha'i

Frank Fools Crow declared as a Baha’i around 1984.

He was born June 7, 1897 in Porcupine, South Dakota. His father was Fool Crow (Kangi Witko).

He quit school in the third grade so he could work in order to help to support his family. As a young man he traveled around the United States with the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show. He spent much of his life serving his people as a Lakota Yuwipi medicine man.,

In 1970 he was invited to offer a prayer before the United States Senate. This is the prayer he gave:

“In the presence of this house, Grandfather, Wakan-Tanka, and from the directions where the sun sets, and from the direction of cleansing power, and from the direction of the rising, and from the direction of the middle of the day. Grandfather, Wakan-Tanka, Grandmother, the Earth who hears everything, Grandmother, because you are woman, for this reason you are kind, I come to you this day. To tell you to love the red men, and watch over them, and give these young men the understanding because, Grandmother, from you comes the good things, good things that are beyond our eyes to see have been blessed in our midst for this reason I make my supplication known to you again. Give us a blessing so that our words and actions be one in unity, and that we be able to listen to each other, in so doing, we shall with good heart walk hand in hand to face the future. In the presence of the outside, we are thankful for many blessings. I make my prayer for all people, the children, the women and the men. I pray that no harm will come to them, and that on the great island, there be no war, that there be no ill feelings among us From this day on may we walk hand in hand. So be it. “

Calvin Pumpkin Seed - Oglala Lakota Baha'i

Duane "Calvin" Pumpkin Seed Oglala Lakota Baha'i declared around the 1980's. He graduated from Crazy Horse High School in Wamblee, South Dakota. He was born on February 14, 1943 and died July 7, 1989. He was an attendee at the first Louhelen Baha'i Residential College School.

Robert Stabler Big Elk - Omaha/Lakota Baha’i

Robert Big Elk was born in Macy, Nebraska and is of Omaha and Lakota/Dakota descent. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico from 1963 to 1968. He studied under the renowned Hopi potter, Otellie Loloma, who taught him Indian traditional techniques and designs. He was a student at the University of Colorado

"I have always felt that I could make a most profound contribution to high standards of the art of pottery by synthesizing the beauty of design and cultural expressions of the many diverse and indigenous peoples. To this end I have spent much of my professional career visiting and researching the pottery and arts of tribes in the Southwest, the Plains, the Northeast, the Northwest and in California. Sitting beside the potters, carvers, painters and sculptors of these diverse tribes, I have learned new techniques that are often ancient techniques and have absorbed an appreciation of the cultural and artistic expression of many indigenous peoples." - Robert Big Elk

Dan Defender “Itancan Agdi” (Brings Back Leadership) - Hunkpapa Lakota Baha’i

Born December 4, 1925 at the Sees The Bear home in North Dakota to George and Margaret Helen (Sees The Bear) Defender. He served in the Army during World War II as an underwater demolition technician. He attended Standing Rock Community College and worked as a drug and alcohol counselor at Fort Yates, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota with a bachelor of science degree. In 1981 he joined the Peace Corps and served in the Philippines for three years. In 1984 he married Jacinta Del Rosario in Manila in the Philippines. Later the couple returned to live at Shields, North Dakota. He was a social activist all of his life. He served as a vice chairman of the Bear Soldier Housing Organization and was a member of the Human Rights Organization at Fort Yates. He and Jacinta had one daughter, Honorata Margaret and one son Quddus Emelio.

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