Founders

Dirk Whitebreast (Meskwaki)

Dirk is a member of the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa. He is an accomplished distance runner having completed several prayer runs, numerous 1/2 marathons, 45 full marathons, and a 50K ultra race. Dirk discovered running after the loss of his younger sister. In 2011, he completed 10 marathons in 30 days (262 miles) to honor his sister and bring awareness to Native youth suicide. Dirk's story of healing through running has been shared with communities throughout the country and was also featured in Dodging Bullets, a documentary film about historical trauma in Native country. In addition to his leadership with Red Earth Running Co., Dirk has nearly 15 years of gaming industry experience. He is also a father, fan of music, archivist of Native running history, and traveler.  

Lannesse Baker (Anishinaabe)

Lannesse is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She is a community scholar with nearly fifteen years of experience working with Native peoples and communities on health focused projects. All of her work is community-centered and advocates for the participation of Native people in efforts to create solutions from strengths. Lannesse earned a Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Arts at the University of Minnesota. She is currently a PhD student in Indigenous Health at the University of North Dakota. Lannesse is also a mother, writer, collector of NDN girl earrings, and traveler.