image of Carly Bad Heart Bull

Carly Bad Heart Bull

Executive Director


Carly Bad Heart Bull is Bdewakantunwan Dakota/Muskogee Creek and a citizen of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. She came to Native Ways Federation from the Bush Foundation, where she served as the Native Nations Activities Manager working with Indigenous nations and communities since 2014. Her service area encompassed Minnesota, North and South Dakota and the 23 Native nations within the region.

Carly has a background in law and was previously an Assistant County Attorney for Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (Minnesota) in its child protection division. She has taught the Dakota language to early childhood students in South Minneapolis. She currently serves as vice chairwoman of the board of local nonprofit and Indigenous farm, Dream of Wild Health, and is also on the board of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a national organization with a mission to promote equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities.

In 2020, Carly was named a Minnesota Attorney of the Year, for her instrumental work on reclaiming the Dakota name of Minneapolis’ largest lake (formerly Lake Calhoun) to Bde Maka Ska. In 2019, she was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Community Leadership Network Fellow, a program for leaders across the country working to create transformational change toward a more equitable society for all.

Carly holds a Juris Doctorate degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, and an Associate of Arts degree from Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Carly lives in Bdeota Otunwe (Minneapolis, or City of Many Lakes) with her young son Quill.