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Long time RST leader passes on

ROSEBUD, S.D. - Alex Little Soldier Lunderman, vice chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a former tribal chairman, died Dec. 5 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Lunderman, 71, was elected vice chairman of the tribe in October 1999. He was tribal president from 1985-89 and 1991-93. He also had served many terms on the tribal council and as a public defender with the tribal court system. He also served as an executive with the American Indian Relief Council and the Native American Heritage Association.

A recent regional tribal utility commission meeting was canceled in respect for the former tribal leader who had served on the tribe's utility commission.

The former tribal leader, who regularly attended council meetings even in a wheelchair, encouraged long time friend and RST Tribal President William Kindle when it appeared Kindle might resign earlier this year.

Tribal councilmen will select a new vice president from the council sometime after Jan. 1 to fill the seat held by Lunderman. The last time the tribe had to fill a vice presidential vacancy following a death was several years ago when Narciesse Brave died. The vice chairman's duties include filling in on behalf of the tribal president when he is away from his office. The next in line to fill those duties include the tribal secretary and, if the tribal secretary is unavailable, the tribe's treasurer.