Oglala Sioux Tribe president aims to create foundation for future leaders

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (KEVN) - Julian Bear Runner is the Oglala Sioux Tribe's 43rd president, and one of the youngest to hold the office.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Administration Office in Pine Ridge.

His last campaign slogan was "a new generation of leadership."

He said the council needs to help that next generation become leaders, by grooming people to take on more responsibilities.

Bear Runner said he would like to see other young people run for office.

But to encourage young people to hold leadership positions, Bear Runner thinks things have to change, at least a little.

"Nobody sat here and said, hey, you are the second youngest leader, you know, I'm a past president, these are some obstacles that I've seen, here's some advice, we don't do that today, and that's what I want to try eliminate and establish that smooth working transition," said Julian Bear Runner, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Bear Runner's term will end in December 2020, and elections results will be revealed in November.

Before the next term starts, Bear Runner wants his predecessor to have the tools they need, and know the direction they want to go as president.

"If I came out today and said I'm running for re-election, I feel that's going to change my decision making, where instead of making a heartfelt, sincere decision, that I'm going to be saying, I got to make this decision so I get a re-elect or get more votes ... that's the least of my worries, I came into this office to truly make a difference for the people, because of the love that I have for them," Bear Runner said.

Beyond creating a foundation for transitioning leadership, Bear Runner said the reservation needs to make technological advancements.

Bear Runner said he does not want political influence to cloud his judgment since there is still a lot of time until the election.