Winnebago Tribe’s Aaron LaPointe earns prestigious national award


February 15, 2024


Aaron LaPointe, Senior Director of Business Operations for Ho-Chunk, Inc.

MESA, Ariz. – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development has awarded Aaron LaPointe, an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and business director at Ho-Chunk, Inc., its “Native American 40 Under 40 Award.”

This prestigious national award recognizes Native American citizens for outstanding leadership and community contributions. It is bestowed annually upon individuals under the age of 40, nominated by members of their communities.

“We are immensely proud of Aaron and his growing roles at Ho-Chunk, Inc. and in the Winnebago community,” said Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Tribe’s economic development entity. “Aaron is humble and consistent in his efforts to help advance the Tribe’s current priorities and build on the long-term visions of historical leaders.”

LaPointe, 32, lives in Winnebago and works as Senior Director of Business Operations for Ho-Chunk, Inc. – leading a portfolio of companies. He is active in community programs, partnerships and charitable giving initiatives. His work includes helping reclaim and expand tribal lands, promoting food sovereignty and sustainable food production, the revitalization of Indian corn, and enhancing the perception of agriculture careers among tribal youth.

“I owe this to so many people. I appreciate all the support and love over my years of development,” LaPointe said. “This award is for all the people who have supported and guided me.”

LaPointe is the first Native American and minority to serve on Nebraska’s FSA, representing Nebraska farmers within U.S. Department of Agriculture; Vice-Chair of the Winnebago Food Sovereignty Committee, guiding food and land initiatives for Winnebago Tribe’s self-sufficiency strategies; Agriculture Advisory Board member at Little Priest Tribal College, developing tailored curriculum for a Tribal Agriculture Program; and has significantly helped revitalize the traditional cultivation of Indian corn across the Winnebago community through Ho-Chunk Farms.

“Recipients of the Native American 40 Under 40 awards are no longer just our future; they are leaders in their respective fields,” said Chris James, President and CEO of The National Center. “From the silver screen to the farm, 2024 awardees are deserving recipients who will continue to make Indian Country proud and our world a better place.”

The Winnebago Tribe started Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 1994 to help its people by creating jobs and diversifying the Tribe’s revenue. The company’s approach has evolved to help create an economy and middle class on the reservation. Today the company employs about 1,700, working in federal government contracting and numerous other industries. The businesses are key financial drivers of community priorities focused on housing, youth, education, employment and elders.

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