We have many individuals behind the scenes at St. Francis Mission. They help keep our existing programs moving forward, and guide new programs as they are developed. Over the next several months, we’d like to introduce you to Mission staff so you can learn a little bit more about who we are, and what we do. First up is our Chief Operating Officer, Rodney Bordeaux.
Tell us a little bit about what you do at St. Francis Mission.
I am the Chief Operating Officer and have been in this position since October 1, 2012. I am responsible to the President of St. Francis Mission (SFM) for the day to day operations. I work with all of the Program Managers in carrying out the strategic plan and objectives of all of our programs. I work with them to prepare annual budgets and work with finance to insure compliance. In the absence of the President, I oversee all programs and operations.
What is your background with the Mission? Are you from the Rosebud and were you involved with the Mission prior to coming on as COO?
I am from the community of Rosebud, which is basically the capital of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. I am the former President of the Tribe, having served seven (7) consecutive years. While I served in that position I was able to work with Father John Hatcher and the Mission in several different capacities. We worked well together and I have always respected his leadership and was thankful for what the SFM does and continues to do for our people. In my capacity as the President of the Tribe we developed an Elderly Gift Bag program during Christmas and the Mission played a major role in paying for the food items. I supported the Dental Clinic from day one and provided support for licensing by the state of South Dakota.
What made you want to work for the Mission?
I believe in what the Mission is doing here on our reservation. With the evangelism work and the huge need for it, the challenges of the programs here at the Mission are being confronted. The Mission has taken some bold steps to address the spiritual needs and in doing so engage our tribal citizens and others. I like a challenge and above all, I believe in the Mission of SFM!
Is there a program (or several programs) you feel most connected to?
I really feel connected to our new Sapa Un Catholic School! I am a strong believer in the need for a quality education and with the development of Sapa Un, it will provide for that. Education has never been an impediment for development of a person and for a Tribe. The goal of Sapa Un is set specifically for the development of future leaders and with that you need a quality education. Our current school systems have not met that need for a vast majority of our people. I am very excited to be a small part of its development.
What would you like people to know about the Mission?
I want not only our own Lakota people but others throughout our great country to know that the Mission is dedicated to service to our people. We have the commitment to meet some of the challenges of our health, social, spiritual, cultural and educational needs. I am proud to say that the Mission has stepped up with a willingness to confront these needs, and we have our own native people playing a major role in these efforts.
Got a program you’d like to see us showcase? Let us know!