Zintkala Luta Win Eiring is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota). She currently serves as an Americorp member at the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Regional Office in Massachusetts as the Jr. Native American Liaison for Northeastern and Southeastern Tribes. Previously, Zintkala studied at George Washington University through scholarship as a Millanovich Fellow with the Native American Political Leadership Program. While taking masters classes, she interned at Health and Human Services within the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs and the Administration of Native Americans. Zintkala graduated with a B.S. in Applied Global Conservation from George Mason University. During undergrad, she interned with the National Park Service in Prince William, VA. While studying Wildlife Ecology at the Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation, she was an Animal Keeper Aid for red pandas and clouded leopards at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.
“It is Lakota belief that before one is born, they choose their parents. This is contrary to popular, American, or scientific belief, but it is a story my Unci (grandmother) has told me since I was little.
“Although I have experienced racism and sexism and at times have wanted to be someone else, with age I have found a sense of pride in who I am. I believe my experiences as a Lakota Winyan (woman) are different than that of those who have historically been involved in outdoor recreation and federal conservation employment. However, my ancestral histories provide cultural understanding in the lands and resources departments like the Fish and Wildlife Service aim to protect.
Zintkala is a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.