Wayne Ducheneaux

Wayne Ducheneaux

Executive Director

Native Governance Center

Eagle Butte, SD USA

It’s okay to be different and it’s okay to be wrong.


By Roadtrip Nation

Wayne Ducheneaux


My road in life has taken me all over.
I grew up on the plains of South Dakota.
I went to college to pursue political science and government but left and came home to run my family’s ranch when my brother got elected to the Tribe’s Tribal Council.
I spent eight years running my family’s ranch, stewarding the land and animals.
After that, I got a job running my Tribe’s, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, hotel enterprise.
I worked as my Tribe’s administrative officer, where I was in charge of the Tribe’s 70 programs.
I was eventually elected to serve on my Tribe’s Tribal Council—I served two years as the vice-chairman and then three years as a Tribal Council representative.
I decided to run for Tribal Chairman but unfortunately lost. However, my name came up to serve as the executive director for the new Native Governance Center.
I’ve been working as the executive director for the Native Governance Center for the past seven years now, since the center’s inauguration.
Keep following my journey


High School


Executive Director

I lead a nonprofit that serves the 23 Native nations sharing geography with Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Working with Others

Day to Day

A lot of my work is about building strong relationships and bonds both internally with our staff and externally with our Tribal partnerships, state constituents, and other stakeholders. My days include speaking with staff, advising on program development, speaking with funders, traveling to meet with partners, and communicating the importance of our work.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I feel like an outsider. I don't fit in."

Challenges I Overcame

School Drop-Out

Interviewed By

Ideas For All

Ideas For All

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