Pehin Haha Consulting - Policy . Advocacy . Leadership

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Patrice H. Kunesh JD MPA
Founder & Director

Of Standing Rock Lakota descent, Patrice is a nationally recognized thought leader and advocate, well known for influencing, inspiring, and equipping cross-sector leaders to create inclusive economic systems and thriving societies, particularly with Native communities.

Kunesh is the founder and director of Peȟíŋ Haha Consulting, a social enterprise committed to building more engaged and powerful Native communities by expanding assets, fostering social and human capital, strengthening capacity, and pursuing economic equity through research and advocacy.

Previously, Patrice established and led the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, an economic and policy research center dedicated to Indian Country issues, where she led numerous national initiatives on housing, education, financial institutions, and governance, and published several articles on economic and community development.

Before joining Minneapolis Fed, Patrice held appointments as the Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture and as the Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the US Department of the Interior. Patrice began her legal career at the Native American Rights Fund. She then served as in-house counsel to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and on the faculty at the University of South Dakota School of Law. 

A graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, Patrice also earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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Peȟíŋ Haha means curly hair in Lakota. It also was the childhood nickname for Crazy Horse, an Oglala Sioux leader recognized for his courage and commitment to his peoples’ traditional life.

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