‘American Indian Leaders of Distinction’ exhibition is available for viewing at UND


Amy Halvorson

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


The University of North Dakota (UND) Art Collections is proud to showcase its new permanent exhibition titled, “American Indian Leaders of Distinction,” in the newly renovated Anna Mae Hughes Room.

The exhibition highlights and honors the exceptional work of 9 American Indian UND alumni who have become leaders in the state and communities they serve and are committed to improving the lives of others and preserving and promoting their heritage.

“We hope that visitors will encounter American Indian leaders through this exhibition and, whatever their own backgrounds may be, feel a sense of pride for these distinguished alumni who have worked selflessly to help their communities,” said Nathan Rees, UND Art Collections Coordinator of Exhibitions.

An opening ceremony was held May 8 that honored the alumni featured in the exhibit, as well as the UND photographers who created the portraits, Jackie Lorentz and Shawna Noel Schill.

“My vision for the exhibition was to recognize and celebrate these important alumni for their leadership—as doctors, educators, artists and more. And all of them received their education at the University of North Dakota. They are role models, not only in their own communities, but beyond,” said UND President Robert Kelley.

Students in the art and design department’s museum practicum class also assisted with this exhibition by measuring the gallery space and drafting a layout for the installation.

The Anna Mae Hughes Room is located in the Hughes Fine Arts Building, room 103, and has been recently renovated and is open for public use.

To reserve the room, contact Tamara Mulske at tamara.mulske@und.edu.

Following are the featured American Indian UND alumni:

Donna Brown

Brown lives in Moorhead, Minn., and is a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe. She has been deeply involved in the coordination of higher education programs such as the Campus Suicide Prevention Program, Indians Into Medicine Program and American Indian Student Services.

Amber Finley

Finley is from Mandaree, N.D., and is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation and the Prairie Chicken Clan. She is a mentor for several diversity-based organizations and helped establish the Northstar Council.

Shannon D. Fox

Fox is from White Shield, N.D., and is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation and the Santee Sioux Tribe. He has opened his own company, White Pipe, established a graphic arts program at Fort Berthold Community College and teaches different forms of art ranging from digital imaging to traditional native arts and crafts.

Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle

Jumping Eagle is from Kyle, S.D., and is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. She has worked in pediatrics in Colorado and North Dakota, and specializes in adolescent medicine, reproductive health, behavioral health and the prevention of high-risk behaviors among youth.

Arlene Krulish and Arliss Krulish

Arlene and Arliss are twin sisters who were raised in Fort Totten, N.D., and are members of the Spirit Lake Nation. They have dedicated themselves to the service of others through their careers in healthcare on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Melvin Monette

Monette lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. He is a strong proponent of “Cradle to Spirit” learning and is committed to improving life throughout American Indian communities through secondary education programs and facilitating national discussions about critical issues.

Robert Shepherd

Shepherd lives in Denver, Colo., and is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe. He has served as the chairman for his tribe and for the Great Sioux Nation of South Dakota, secretary of the National Congress of American Indians, and is now the Native American Tribal Relations Officer for Monarch America, Inc.

Laurel Vermillion

Vermillion is from Fort Yates, N.D., and is a member of the Hunkpapa-Lakota Tribe. She taught elementary school at the Fort Yates Bureau of Indian Affairs School, was the principal at the Marty Indian School, held multiple administrative positions at Sitting Bull College and is now the president of Sitting Bull College. She also serves on numerous nonprofit and community service groups.

About UND Art Collections:

The mission of UND Art Collections is to facilitate the use of the University's art for education, research, and community cultural enrichment in ways that forward the University's mission and strategic goals. While providing oversight for the art owned by the University, UND Art Collections also offers assistance to the UND Foundation in the management and use of its art collection.