Come January, two prominent former officials of the Bureau of Indian Affairs will be teaching in
||Bacone Criminal Justice Associate Professor Wambli Sina Win leads a prayer in her native Lakota Sioux language during a communion service at the college chapel. (Photo courtesy of the Muskogee Phoenix
the criminal justice department at Bacone College.
Bacone official Eugene Blankenship described Wambli Sina Win and Perry Proctor as “Indian Country legends.” Both have been hired as part of what Blankenship calls the “ramping up
of (Bacone’s) criminal justice program.”
Win (pronounced Wee) chairs the department. She is an Oglala, or Lakota Sioux,
who was born on the Rose Bud Reservation in South Dakota. She grew up among Sioux people, with a strong sense of her Native American identity.
A sense of vocation springing from the culture of her Sioux forebears informs Win’s attitude towards her work as a teacher.
“It’s an honor for a Lakota to be called a good relative,” Win said. “I try to treat the students I teach as if they were my relatives. You treat your relatives with love.
“A good teacher is a person who gives a part of herself to the student. That lives on. You teach more than things out of a book.”
Win began her career in 1974 as a teacher in a South Dakota town called Wambli.
She first came to Oklahoma in 1980 with her former husband, and for several years was busy raising four children.
Later she returned to law school at the University of Oklahoma. She served as a tribal judge for her Oglala people, then as a federal prosecutor and U.S. attorney in Rapid City.
In 2001, Win was recruited to go to work at the U.S. Indian Police Academy in New Mexico, teaching the legal classes.
Since 2005, Win returned to school at the University of Tulsa, where she is finishing a Master of Laws in indigenous law. More recently she worked for the Apache Tribe in Arizona.
Win said the call of family — her wish to spend time with a grandchild here — was an incentive to return to Oklahoma to work. She joined the Bacone faculty in the fall of 2009.
When Proctor, a long-time criminal investigator for the BIA, retires from the agency at the end of the year, he will join Win as a full-time criminal justice professor in the spring semester.
A native of Tahlequah, Proctor is a member of the United Keetoowah Band
His career in police work began when he was a senior at Tahlequah High School, as a dispatcher for the Tahlequah Police Department.
As a college student at Northeastern State University, Proctor worked as a uniformed officer for the department.
He remained in Tahlequah until 1981, when he began a nine-year stint as an agent for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
In 1990, the BIA started a law enforcement arm in northeast Oklahoma. Proctor was one of the first Native Americans hired for the work.
He has been a BIA criminal investigator in this area ever since.
Proctor said his family were not traditional Indians, but rather were assimilated to white society.
“Working for the BIA, I’ve learned a lot about Indian culture,” he said.
Having worked for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Proctor has a professional’s knowledge of the criminal justice system.
“A case is only as good as the prosecutor presents it to the jury,” he said. “It’s a team effort between the laboratory, the investigative unit and the prosecution. That makes a good case.”
Win says that criminal justice is a popular field of study at Bacone these days.
“We have a lot of students who are interested in Indian law, who want to work for tribal criminal justice organizations,” Win said.
Read the Bacone criminal justice program director at 918.781.7295.