Staff spotlight: Kristine cultivates growth in Native communities

Small Towns

After several years assisting the Center for Rural Affairs with its Tribal programs, Kristine Flyinghawk is bringing her community development talents to the Center full time.

Recently hired as Native communities manager, Kristine believes in the Center and is happy to take on a permanent role.

“In working with the Center for several years as a contractor, I have come to love and appreciate their kindness and the focused work each person on the team does,” Kristine said.

She now oversees the staff and work being done in the Santee Sioux and Omaha Nations, as well as providing outreach to other Tribes in the region.

“I have assisted with the Center’s work on community gardening, small business development, food sustainability, and food demonstrations,” said Kristine. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the growth in the programs we offer, as well as brainstorming new ideas on how to approach some of our goals as a team.”

Before joining the Center full time, Kristine taught family and consumer science classes at Santee Community School, as well as Native American Beading, Native American Textile Construction, and Introduction to Entrepreneurship as dual-credit classes at Nebraska Indian Community College. And, she recently completed her master’s degree in family and consumer science through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Her years of experience have sparked plenty of ideas on how to best execute her role as Native communities manager.

“As a team, I hope to expand some of our programs, and include additional Tribes,” she said. “A personal goal of mine is to start some youth activities and projects to raise up a generation that sees this as a lifelong goal.”

A mother of three, Kristine knows firsthand how important it is to involve the younger generation in these programs.

“I grew up on a farm near Crofton, Nebraska, and have always lived in rural America,” she said. “This is where my family is and comes from. I want to raise my boys here, as I believe being raised in the area comes with security and a strong belief in values.”

When she’s not facilitating outreach to Tribal communities, Kristine’s three young sons keep her on her toes. The family enjoys spending time outdoors swimming or getting dirty in the sandbox or garden.

Kristine oversees projects in Santee, Macy, and Walthill, and seeks to serve Native American communities in the region. She can be reached at her home office in Niobrara at 402.380.7006 or