Born and raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Valandra is the son of Christine and Cato Valandra, who served as director of the Institute of Indian Studies at The U from 1977 to 1986. He received his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato, a master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his Ph.D. from State University of New York-Buffalo.

Valandra is the author of "Not Without Our Consent," a book chronicling the Oceti Sakowin Oyate nation’s successful resistance to termination. The College of Arts & Sciences at USD recently welcomed Valandra with a reception at the W.H. Over Museum. He will also serve as a professor in the department, which provides students at The U with an opportunity to appreciate and learn about American Indian peoples. The program's interdisciplinary curriculum includes American Indian philosophy, anthropology, art history, criminal justice, education, English, history, Lakota language, pre-law, pre-medicine, oral history, philosophy, political science, sociology, psychology, Siouan Tribal Culture and women's studies.

For more information about USD’s Department of American Indian Studies, please visit A photo of Valandra is available for download at

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