Shane Thin Elk

Operations Director

Shane Thin Elk (he/him/his) is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sičangu Lakota). A lawyer by training, Shane most recently directed the day-to-day operations for the financial services arm of a Menominee Tribal economic development company. Prior to that and over the course of nearly two decades, Mr. Thin Elk conducted cultural competency and professional development training services for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, offered effective mediation services, and focused on successful community engagement.

Shane’s legal practice consisted primarily of providing nonprofit, corporate and governmental legal services to Tribal governments and Native organizations. He was further honored to serve as Chief Judge for the Omaha Nation of Nebraska, a position in which he was responsible for overseeing the entire tribal court system, managing staff, developing policies and procedures, as well as hearing all civil actions and adult criminal proceedings. Shane also served as Chief Justice David Gilbertson’s law clerk at the South Dakota Supreme Court and was honored to be named as the Most Outstanding Student of his graduating law school class as determined by the faculty.

Shane has a wealth of experience in successfully managing an office and staff, having overseen on and off-reservation legal departments, nonprofits, and regulatory boards. He further has ample experience writing, securing and successfully overseeing large grants. Shane has four amazing children, one beautiful Takojala or granddaughter, and enjoys living in St. Paul.