South Dakota Native American Counselors Association 

The purposes of the South Dakota Indian Counselors Association include providing an organization for counselors of Native American students which shall promote unity and cooperation among Native American counselors; to provide better communication among Native American counselors and Native American education in all fields, the Native American community and the general public; and to provide a forum for the discussion of counseling problems relating to education affecting Native Americans.


2023-2024 SDNACA Officer

Lola Blue Earth                 Vacant                     Allison Oxner 

        President                President Elect                Past President  


Kathy Dorner             Stephanie Traversie

Treasurer                  Recording Secretary



Star in the Darkness Quilt Recipients


The star quilt, or wičháȟpi owíŋža in Lakota, represents honor and is often presented at important life events like graduations and funerals. Traditionally, they were given to warriors and hunters after returning from battle or a successful hunt. The pattern on the star quilt is inspired by the Morning Star, the last and brightest in the eastern horizon before dawn, and is believed to serve as a link between the living and the ancestors.


The Star in the Darkness award is presented by the SD Native American Counseling Association at the annual conference to acknowledge a member of the organization who provides mental health services to Indigenous clients. The recipient is chosen at random from SDNACA members. 


2023 Recipient: Ashley Geist, pictured with Alison Onxer, SDNACA president, & SDNACA members Stacey Kappes & Kathy Dorner



 2022 Recipients: Jolaine Bain and Amanda Bender                                            2019 Recipient: Rebecca Christiansen


SDNCA Documents