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USD Sanford School of Medicine learn Circle of Courage intervention model from Brokenleg

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota welcomed Dr. Martin Brokenleg, Ph.D., for a pair of presentations this week at the Sanford Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. and at the Muenster University Center in Vermillion.

Brokenleg, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, was the guest speaker for the Center for Health Outcomes & Prevention Research at the Sanford Center on Monday, Feb. 20. Brokenleg’s presentation, “The Mysteries of Native American Thought: Providing a Glimpse into the Inner World of Traditional Native People and Their Cultural Patterns,” was delivered to staff at the Sanford Center thanks in part to the Native American Scholars Program within the USD Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities.

His presentation, “Discovering Native American Resilience: The Circle of Courage as The Inoculation for Complex Social Problems,” followed at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the ballroom of the Muenster University Center. As part of the “Circle of Courage” intervention model that he co-founded in working with Native American youth, Brokenleg discussed training and education programs he and his colleagues have developed for at-risk children. This presentation is also available online at

For more than 30 years, Brokenleg was a member of the faculty in Native American Studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He has a background in psychology, education and theology, and is a graduate of the Episcopal Divinity School. Although he is retired and currently resides in British Columbia, Brokenleg and his colleagues continue to be involved in Native youth mentoring and education efforts as well as providing workshops based on the “Circle of Courage” model.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News