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Congratulations and Wopila to Wizipan Little Elk

Today we extend our heartfelt congratulations to REDCO CEO Wizipan Little Elk on his appointment as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In his 10 years as REDCO CEO, Wizipan has been a tremendous asset not only to REDCO but to all of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, and we cannot thank him enough for his hard work and leadership.

During his tenure, REDCO grew from a tiny organization of just a few employees that was struggling financially to a nationally recognized model for culturally-grounded and sustainable economic development. Wizipan was -- and remains -- motivated to create a better standard of living for all members of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, and that started with REDCO employees. Today, REDCO and its subsidiaries employ over 50 people, provide great benefits, and offer a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Wizipan knew that creating good-paying jobs wasn’t going to solve the systemic issues of health, housing, food, and education so he dreamt bigger and embraced a holistic approach. This led to the formation of Sicangu CDC and Tatanka Funds, whose nonprofit community work complements REDCO’s enterprise development.

Through the growth and success, Wizipan always infused Lakota values and identity into REDCO’s work and vision. His visionary, systems-level thinking led REDCO to adopt a “7Gen” approach that prioritizes long-term strategic development.

Wizipan’s tireless work ethic and constant drive for doing bigger and better things will be missed at REDCO, but we know that he will continue to be an advocate for Rosebud and all of Indian Country in his new position. He has laid the groundwork for our team to continue to create a better world for future generations, and our team is excited and honored to carry the work forward.

We wish the best of luck to you and your family, Wizipan! Wopila for everything.

Read the DOI Press Release here:

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