Dr. Cynthia Lindquist

Dr Cynthia Lindquist 3Title: President, Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College

As the oldest of 13 children, Dr. Cynthia Lindquist has said she only dreamed of attending college. After graduating from high school, she began working for Sioux Manufacturing Corporation (SMC) as a secretary clerk in Ft. Totten, North Dakota, and while there she took advantage of opportunities to attend college. Her tribe, the Spirit Lake Dakota, had a program to train tribal members to become leaders in the company. Lindquist earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and returned to the manufacturing company as a manager, but she was soon called upon to work for the tribe as the health director planner. She went on to earn her master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on Indian health systems from the University of South Dakota and to earn a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota in 2006. Lindquist was recruited by two tribal elders to apply for the position of president at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in her home community. She used her educational background and grant-making experience to grow her campus, quadrupling its size in 15 years. In March 2018, she was named Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year (2017) by the American Indian College Fund.