We are honored to re-introduce Renee Sans Souci as an integral 2023 Stand in for Nebraska leader. Credentialed through UNL’s Indigenous Roots education program and co-leader of our deepening Adult Education Programming COC (community organizing circle), Renee has helped envision, build, and teach within the COC since its inception. She has been the wise constant and throughline to make this approach to community education possible. Partnering in directorship with Dr. Anh Le and Cheri Stollar in 2023, we can’t wait to witness and help support the ascension and reach of their programming.
Having earned her rare status as an Omaha (Omonhon) spiritual practitioner over decades of deep and rigorous vision questing and apprenticing, studying with Ojibwe leaders in Minnesota, Sundancing (an annual spiritually immersive event demanding of body, mind, and spirit in remarkable ways), mentoring, and ceremony officiating, Renee’s life work features decolonization and healing on all fronts. Those touched by her life’s mission and richly complex life experiences are seen, heard, and held in her deep and long commitment to the Red Road.
Renee’s wide range of professional consultancies and expertise earn trust and respect. As a result, she has contributed immeasurably to Nebraska’s human rights advocacy efforts as a Water Protector, MMIR (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives) leading force, and a Niskithe Prayer Camp leader resisting desecration of sacred lands and Lincoln’s only sweat lodge. Recently, Renee co-led the SIFN-sponsored Reimagining the Path Across Turtle Island course—an experience that further drew upon her land-informed, earth-protecting commitments. The sacred exists in all things, and Renee’s guiding hand helped challenge and shift generations-programmed colonizing orientations.
As a gifted writer, storyteller, and communicator, Renee has served as a Lied Center Resident Artist and often is called upon to speak courageous truth to power throughout Nebraska. She does so with seeming effortlessness, poise, clarity, and resolve. These qualities, again, are grounded in deep spirituality, commitment to rematriation, doing the on-going personal healing work required to be a healthy, egoless leader, and a conveyed seven generations-informed vision and truth.
Within SIFN’s cross-cultural, intersectional grassroots organization we have dreamed since our non-profit’s beginning of a cross-cultural, intersectional community center in which to house our programs. Renee’s early and continuing influence has been inestimable toward advancing that vision.