White House to Recognize Native American Misty Thomas as “Champion of Change”

October 19, 2011 –


WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Valerie Jarrett will join White House Advisor on Domestic Violence, Lynn Rosenthal, to host 14 leaders at the White House who are dedicating their professional lives to ending domestic violence in their communities.  At the event, participants will share their personal stories and discuss lessons they have learned while working to end domestic violence on a local level.


The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.  Tomorrow, the White House welcomes Misty Thomas to participate in a roundtable discussion to raise awareness for domestic violence.  To watch this event live, visit at 1:00 pm ET tomorrow.


Misty Thomas is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and a descendant of the Tlingit of Alaska.  She has been the Director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit (DTSU), the Social Services Department for the Santee Sioux Nation for over 5 years.  She administers the Child and Adult Protective Services., Indian Child Welfare Act, Independent Living, BIA Social Services, Native Employment Works Program, Tribal Youth Program Grant (the Horse Program), and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program.  The dream of a shelter in Santee has been on-going for several years with prior directors and DV Program staff.  Misty started working on building the DV/SA Program budget up to be able to support a shelter and then the task came of finding the facility. Several meetings with the tribal council as well the tribal Housing Board were held and it was finally approved for DTSU to take possession of the current facility.  The Otokahe Teca Tipi or New Beginnings House was obtained in July 2011 and had their open house on September 20, 2011.