Michelle Tyon

Porcupine, SD

Longtime South Dakota activist Tyon will launch a community dialog and education initiative among the 48,000 Oglala Lakota people to address crime, violence, and public safety in Native communities by positive means instead of over policing and incarceration.

Tyon has spent the last four decades working as an activist, social worker, advocate, and administrator on a wide range of issues affecting Native communities. She is the founder of a South Dakota reentry support project, and since 2006, has served as the Oglala Sioux Tribe liaison to the South Dakota Department of Corrections, bridging prison officials, Native people behind bars, and their families and loved ones. She has also worked as the assistant public relations coordinator for the Office of the Oglala Sioux Tribe President, as a case manager for Native Employment Work Act programs, and an administrator for the Sacred Shawl Women’s Society – a domestic violence prevention organization.