About Us

GPTWA visit to CU Boulder to meet North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center staff and partners. Video by Gemma Lockhart

GPTWA Organization

Great Plains Trial Water Alliance, Inc. is an independent corporation, organized under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  It serves as an advisory committee to the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association  on all matters with regard to technical and policy issues regarding the waters resources of its member tribes.  The corporation was founded in 2006 and was reorganized in 2013. 
Members of the Corporation are individuals appointed by Tribal Resolution of the governing body of Tribes, residing with the Great Plains Region (Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota).  Each Tribe who chooses to join GPTWA appoints a Director and Alternate Director to the Board of Directors.
The officers of the corporation are:
​Chairman:   Doug Crow Ghost of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
         Vice Chairman:    Syed Huq of Rosebud Sioux Tribe 
          Secretary & Treasurer:    Elizabeth Wakeman of Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Board Member: Reno Red Cloud Sr. of Oglala Sioux Tribe
GPTWA visits CU Boulder to visit the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCCASC)
From Top Left: Imtiaz Rangwala, Doug Crow-Ghost, Robin O' Malley, Syed Huq, Brian Johnson, Aparna Bamzai-Dodson, Kyle White, Heather Yocum
Bottom Left: Stefan Tangen, Jennifer Balch, Elizabeth Wakeman. James Rattling Leaf, Sr.
GPTWA meeting with Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association (GPTCA) located at Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place in Fort Pierre, SD.


September 2006 – GPTWA officially organized by 3 Tribes:

  • Oglala Sioux Tribe 

  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe

  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

November 2013 – Reorganized, recognizing new members and election of officers.

December 2014 – Amended By-laws to add Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe


The Great Plains Water Alliance is the original founding coalition for preserving the prior paramount, reserved water rights of the Missouri River under aboriginal title, the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty and the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, and other judicially established territories in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.


The Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance was established in 2006 by the Standing Rock, Oglala, and Rosebud Sioux Tribes, and now includes the Tribes in the Great Plains Region, as a public outreach, research and education organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Great Sioux Nation Indian Winter’s Rights to the use of water in the Missouri River, tributaries and all aquifers and ground water sources located within the exterior boundaries of the Great Plains Region.  As its sacred obligation, the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance will provide technical and policy recommendations for the protection of all water resources for the next 7 generations.  

The Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance also protects the Native America cultural and funerary items along the banks of the Missouri River and its tributaries, resulting from stream flows and lake levels changes due to the management actions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the main stem dams.


Provide Policy Recommendations to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association 

Provide Technical Support on all water issues in the Great Plains.