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Longtime Sinte Gleska University president Lionel Bordeaux dies at age 82

Lionel Bordeaux
Sinte Gleska University
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Lionel Bordeaux

An influential voice in Native American Education who long served as leader of Sinte Gleska University has died.

Lionel Bordeaux, Wakinyan Wanbli, (Thundering Eagle) passed way Nov. 16 at age 82.

Bordeaux was known as the “Dean of the Tribal College Movement,” according to a statement from the university, which is located in the Rosebud Reservation.

He became president of Sinte Gleska in 1973 and has held the position ever since.

A university spokesperson said Bordeaux worked to strengthen Lakota culture and language and advocated for Native peoples’ sovereignty over education curriculums at both a local and national level.

A celebration of life is being held at the Sinte Gleska University Lake Campus in Mission on Dec. 1.