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Your life has PURPOSE
Your story is IMPORTANT
Your dreams COUNT
Your voice MATTERS
You were born to make an IMPACT
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Edwin Leslee Pewo – "Les" 

January 16, 1954 – July 4, 2021

Les was a good relative to us here at NAICCO. His life story was one that personified all the reasoning behind our mission work here at NAICCO. He sought to share what he could from his heart with his Native People. One of the most meaningful things he shared with us was his artwork. The medicine wheel seen in the NAICCO logo was drawn by his hand. It symbolizes so much in terms of Native culture, tradition, spirituality, history… and at the same time, it also carries within it Les’s story. NAICCO will continue to insert his iconic piece into all of its branding; thus, to honor his memory, and to be reminded that within his drawing live the truths of our Native Peoples’ existence – past, present, and future. Until we meet again our Cheyenne Brutha…

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Sally Lee

August 1, 1946 – January 31, 2021

Sally will always be remembered for being an avid bead worker, one who could work magic with the most intricate cut beads and peyote stitch patterns. She loved camping, cooking, sewing, animals, ceremonies… and cherished her children and grandchildren dearly. Mostly, we’ll remember her for having a lot of love and kindness in her heart for each and every one of us. Her presence is surely going to be missed. Doksa aka T‘unwínla…

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Brenda Two Shields

July 8, 1946 – December 19, 2020

Brenda was one of the founding elders at NAICCO years ago. In time, she ended up moving home to her reservation homelands on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation of South Dakota to be with her people. In her later years, she chose to move back to Ohio to be closer to her family. While she was here among us, she brought that good feeling only a real Native mother-grandmother can bring when entering a room. Thank you for your life testimony Brenda. Toksa aka…

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Sheldon Francees

August 30, 1966 – June 13, 2020

Sheldon was a dear relative to many of us at NAICCO. His life story was our story, for it was well rounded with all the elements of a modern-day Native man – the good, the bad, and otherwise. His warm greetings and overall kind spirit will surely be missed by many of us. Because of who he was and what his life represented, the spirit of our mission work here at NAICCO will carry with it just that much more importance. Toksa aka Waste Cante Wicasa…

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Fred Johnson Jr.

October 8, 1941 – October 22, 2019

Fred served as a distinct leader at NAICCO since 2012. As the President of the NAICCO Board of Trustees, he brought strength, love, integrity, and happiness to NAICCO and the Native American community it serves. Today, NAICCO is well positioned as a successful, Native-focused, nonprofit agency in Ohio because of Fred’s unwavering commitment and genuine presence.

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Raymond Roach Sr. – Wanbli Ho Waste Wicasa

August 3, 1954 – August 16, 2017

Raymond was a devoted tribal member to his beloved Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. In a very similar light, he brought that same love and pride to NAICCO. He not only served on both NAICCO’s Advisory Council and Elders Council, but he also stood as an unwavering champion for our Native People in Ohio. His presence, spirit, and voice truly helped guide us to where we are today. Pilamaya!

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Carolyn Mullins

May 30, 1975 – February 22, 2016

Carolyn was a life-long devoted champion of NAICCO since its founding. She was a loving mother to her children, and someone who touched the lives of everyone she met. Carolyn served as NAICCO’s Chief Fiscal Officer for a number of years, as well as a strong advocate for NAICCO’s mission and vision.

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Parnell Necklace – Wanapin Gaga Hoksina

April 27, 1945 – January 5, 2016

Parnell relocated to Ohio from South Dakota in the early 2000s. He served on NAICCO’s Advisory Council, and was always actively involved with our Native People throughout Ohio. He strived to educate the youth to succeed in life, while carrying on their Native teachings in the modern world we live in today.

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Kenneth Irwin Sr. – Mádse Nuba

February 16, 1948 – November 11, 2014

Kenny relocated to Ohio from North Dakota over 40 years ago. While amongst us, he served as a champion for our Native People at NAICCO and in Ohio. He fought to educate our Native People and the broader public regarding the protection of Native American treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, and the correct interpretation of state and federal laws associated to the livelihood of Natives living in Ohio.

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Mark Welsh – Mato Ska Wicasa

November 27, 1952 – May 1, 2013

Mark was involved as a community member and leader at NAICCO, alongside his wife Carol Welsh, for more than 30 years of his life. In his lifetime, he was an unwavering ambassador for the Dakota/Lakota sacred teachings of Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations), of which was personified in his daily walk of life.

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Asa Primeaux Sr. – Pejuta Hoksina

October 4, 1931 – June 2, 2003

Asa was a humble and dedicated spiritual leader for the local Native American community in Ohio. He was a strong supporter of his cousin Selma Walker and NAICCO’s mission and vision for Native People since its inception. In his lifetime he touched the lives of countless people across Turtle Island as an unwavering ambassador for his beloved Indigenous People.

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Selma Sully-Walker – Catka Winyan

December 16, 1925 – January 3, 1997

Selma is the original founder of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO). She was a passionate woman who sought to create a safe and nurturing environment for her beloved Native American relatives in Ohio. Her intention was to build a home where Native People could gather together as a community and heal through culture. Because of her dream and desire for change, we are who, what, and where we are today. Pidamaya!

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