August 22, 2013

Former Tribal chair passes away

Former Tribal chair passes away
By STU MERRY
BHG News Service

The community of New Town and the Fort Berthold Reservation is mourning the death of a Tribal trailblazer.
Alyce Spotted Bear passed away in Bismarck, Tuesday night, Aug. 13, following a struggle with  cancer. She was 67.
Spotted Bear was chair of the Fort Berthold Community College Native Studies Department. Spotted Bear earned her bachelor and master degrees in education from Dickinson State College and Pennsylvania State College, respectively, and completed coursework for a Ph.D. in education at Cornell University.
Russell Mason, Jr., FBCC president, said Spotted Bear was a tremendous asset to the college and had made many contributions to the school. He said she would be dearly missed.
“It was a great loss,” he said.“Not only for our institution, but a great loss for our Tribe and Indian Country as a whole.”
Tribal Chairman Tex (Red Tipped Arrow) Hall, added that Spotted Bear was a leader ahead of her time. She was the second woman elected to lead the TAT Nation. The first was Rose Crow Flies High whom Hall said she admired deeply.
“Alyce believed in teamwork - working together to get things done,” Hall said. “Of her administration, she often said, ‘I don’t consider any of these things to be my accomplishments; they are my administration’s accomplishments; I believe we were one of the hardest working tribal councils in the history of our tribe’.”
Hall went on to say that Spotted Bear was known for many things. Her administration changed how tribal government works. Her professional positions included school superintendent Twin Buttes Elementary School, high school principal, Federal programs manager and college instructor/administrator.
Most recently, she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Indian Education. Her term on this committee was for the term of his office.
Mason, Jr., said Spotted Bear was a staunch supporter of Indian education and Native history.
“We at Fort Berthold Community College are grateful for the opportunities that were bestowed upon us through her committed efforts and feel fortunate she came to be with us,” Mason, Jr., said. “Alyce leaves a significant legacy of leadership we will strive to uphold at Fort Berthold Community College.”
Although she turned her focus to education, Hall said Spotted Bear’s reach expanded far beyond.
“She was a role model for many and I know there are many young women today who aspire to leadership within our Nation, because Alyce opened the door for them,” Hall said.
Funeral services for Spotted Bear were Monday at Twin Buttes High School. A wake was this past Sunday at Twin Buttes High School. Chairman Hall had ordered tribal flags be flown at half-staff until Chairman Spotted Bear’s funeral was over. 


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