Arnell D. Abold, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, was recently appointed to the position of the Executive Director for the InterTribal Buffalo Council, also known as ITBC. Ms. Abold is the first Native woman to serve as Director of ITBC since its inception in 1992. Ms. Abold previously served as the Fiscal Director for the organization since November 2001. She continues to devote her career to the vision and the mission of the organization. Her passion, belief, and devotion to the buffalo and the membership tribes that hold the buffalo sacred is what drives her dedication and loyalty to the organization.
Prior to her employment with ITBC, Ms. Abold was employed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe as the Finance Officer to the Treasurer; Red Cloud Indian School as the Business Manager, as well as the American Horse Indian School as their Business Manager. Additional work experience Ms. Abold had was during her early years after graduating from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Prior to graduating, Ms. Abold was nominated to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program for an internship in Orlando, Florida. This internship was the jumping point for her career working in the hospitality industry as a Finance Director. It was in 1994 that Ms. Abold returned home to South Dakota where she continues to reside.
Ms. Abold’s educational background consists of an MBA in Business Administration as well as an MM in Human Resource Management, both of which were obtained from National American University in Rapid City, South Dakota. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Throughout her career, Ms. Abold not only gained valuable experience along with insightful knowledge, but she also learned to be open to continually being willing to learn and grow and to never give up. And it is through the buffalo that her connection to her culture and spirituality became visible.
Megan Davenport is thrilled to join ITBC as Wildlife Biologist and Technical Services Department Director. Originally from New Jersey, she has spent the last 5 years as a biologist for the National Park Service, working in a variety of habitats and with a variety of species, most recently working for Yellowstone and Badlands National Parks. At Badlands, she worked to improve range conditions through invasive plant treatment, maintain native ecosystems through wildlife research, and maintain Badlands’ buffalo herd through the annual roundup. Megan holds a Masters degree in marine biology, and is currently pursuing her PhD, studying buffalo restoration efforts on Tribal lands, through the work of the InterTribal Buffalo Council.
In her first year of research and acquainting herself with ITBC, she has developed a strong passion for the mission, a deep respect for the way the work is accomplished, and a critical understanding of the complexities of what is required to keep growing and advancing the organization’s purpose.
Megan is proud to be able to assist ITBC’s membership in any way possible, whether through developing and overseeing the Technical Services offered to herd managers, assisting with wildlife issues, finding funding opportunities, or getting boots muddy and hands dirty in the pastures and corrals helping as you care for your animals.
In her free time, Megan is studying hard for school, researching buffalo restoration on Tribal lands, studying the ways in which settler colonialism impacts buffalo restoration efforts, and likewise the ways that ITBC’s work is leading the way in challenging settler colonialism by advancing food sovereignty, advancing Native-led wildlife conservation efforts, and using legal and legislative action to build the infrastructure necessary to bring the buffalo back home. She lives in Rapid City with many four-legged friends and one two-legged partner.
Technical Services Provider
Zintkala Luta Win (Little Red Bird), an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, joins ITBC with passion and enthusiasm. She comes to the organization after serving as a Tribal Liaison Assistant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As such, she is familiar with the Endangered Species Act as well as grants, technical services, and partnerships with Tribes.
She has researched several species of significance including the American three-toed woodpecker with the U.S. Forest Service and Wildlife Society in the Black Hills National Forest as a Native American Research Assistant, the clouded leopard, manned wolf, and red panda at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as a practicum student, the gray wolf at the National Zoo as a student of Animal Behavior, and various traditional plants during her personal time and field experience.
Additionally, Zintkala received the Richard M. Milanovich fellowship to study at George Washington University through the Native American Political Leadership Program. There, she focused on Indian Policy and Environmental Law as a masters student, while interning at the Department of Health and Human Services – Intergovernmental & External Affairs Office, as well as the Administration of Native Americans. Prior, she received her B.S. in Applied Global Conservation from George Mason University where she served as Vice President of the Native American Indigenous Alliance and volunteered at the hydroponic greenhouse. She also interned at the Prince William National Forest Park where she controlled for invasive species and participated in several surveys including some for the American chestnut, eastern hemlock, bats, ticks, and deer.
When Zintkala isn’t working on what she loves, she is out exploring the woods with her sunka/dog, using her green thumb, or jingle dress dancing. Zintkala is beyond excited for this opportunity to work with Pte Oyate/Buffalo Nation and indigenous people. She looks forward to the opportunity to meet Tribal staff, learn from them, and give back in what way she can.
Technical Services Provider
Eric Selchert is a new Technical Services Provider for the Intertribal Buffalo Council. In the coming months he will be working to educate himself on the needs of the member tribes so that he can best assist with any program needs.
Eric received his Bachelors of Biology from Black Hills State University focusing on ecology and environmental studies. He also received training from Global Wildlife Services on Wildlife Handling and Chemical Immobilization. While attending and after receiving his degree he volunteered on projects for the National Park Service, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Wyoming Game and Fish and the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.
While working for the United States Forest Service Eric surveyed for multiple wildlife species and conducted habitat assessments. He also led an acoustical bat monitoring project and created a camera trap survey for the American marten, which allowed for the implementation of new timber harvest guidelines in marten habitat. Recently he was employed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a Biological Scientist for the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area. Again conducting various wildlife surveys, but the main focus of this position was the restoration of native habitats. To accomplish the restoration goals mechanical methods and prescribed burning were utilized. While there he became a Florida Certified Burner and has prepared and carried out certified burns on various habitats.
Eric is proud to be working with the ITBC and its members to restore such an iconic animal back to the landscape.