Michael attended St. Joseph’s from 1953-1957 and was a member of the first eighth-grade class to graduate in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. He earned his high school diploma from Immaculate Conception High School in Stephan, South Dakota. After high school, he attended the University of South Dakota and Northern State University’s School of Commerce in Aberdeen.
“Attending school at St. Joseph’s left me with two very important things,” he said in a short address to students. “First, the will, strength and desire to succeed. Second and probably more important, is gratitude to my Creator, His Holy Spirit and to Jesus Christ. To have done anything in my life that I can accredit to my own capacity without recognizing the role the Creator played in it would be folly.”
He served as Chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, where he worked to meet the needs of his community since 1972. He was a member of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association and served on the Regional Tribal Business Advisory Council.
He passed away in April 2015
Michael was honored on May 16, 2009 during St. Joseph’s Graduation Liturgy, along with Rozlyn and St. Joseph’s 17 eighth-grade graduates.
Previous award winners include: