The Heritage Center Staff Profiles

Tawa Ducheneaux - Executive Director //  

Tawa Ducheneaux is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was raised near Verdigris, Oklahoma. After completing a BA in Media Arts and Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico, where she met her partner Heath, and shortly after relocated to Pine Ridge in 2003 to raise their family, much of her work over the last 20 years at Oglala Lakota College has been in the archives and emphasizing understandings about indigenous collections management and community involvement in the preservation and access of traditional and contemporary expressions of knowledge. During her appointment as director of the archives and tribal repository at Oglala Lakota College’s Woksape Tipi, she completed an MLIS in Management, Digitization, & Preservation of Cultural Heritage & Records from San Jose State University. Every day is an opportunity to reflect upon past experiences, inspiring her advocacy and work in archives and special collections. Her passion is akin to woiyeska, to act as an interpreter, advocate, and guide for cultural heritage. She sews and beads for her family in her spare time and loves cinema, music, and photography.

Ashley Pourier - Curator // 

Ashley Pourier first began as an intern at The Heritage Center and later as the gift shop assistant. In 2014 she began work as the assistant curator. Ashley is a graduate of the Red Cloud Indian School System; an alumni of Our Lady Lourdes K-8 School in Porcupine and Red Cloud Indian High School, Class of 2008. She continued her education at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and graduate spring 2012 with a degree in Fine Arts. 

Carmen Fourd - Gift Shop Manager/Buyer // 

Carmen Little Iron (Oglala Lakota) attended Red Cloud Indian School for the majority of her primary and secondary school years before graduating from Red Cloud High School in 2004. She currently holds four A.A. degrees from Oglala Lakota College in General Business, Accounting, Lakota Studies and Nursing. In her spare time Carmen enjoys creating her own crafts (beadwork and quillwork), learning new techniques (star quilting), as well as beginning her career in Nursing at the IHS hospital in Pine Ridge. She lives with her fiancé and adopted daughter in Rapid City, SD.