community leaders

Indigenous Governance Speaker Series: How to Build a Nation with Susan Masten (Yurok)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year
Susan Masten (Yurok), former Chairwoman and valuable leader of the Yurok Tribe, joins the Native Nations Institute's Executive Director, Joan Timeche (Hopi), for an engaging discussion on Native nation building, specifically, how she actually helped build the nation. She was critical to the fulfillment of the requirements of the Hoopa-Yurok Settlement Act, including developing the criteria for the first base roll and a tribal council. Susan shares her insight on how the tribe developed their own tribal constitution, which included an attempt to ensure everyone was equally represented with the formulation of districts where the villages were located. Another struggle she faced in the building of the nation was clearly defining the powers of the government. She speaks on how cultural values inform how decisions are made at a governance level and the value of keeping the branches of the government separate from council. Her definition of good governance includes transparency and ensuring the peoples' buy-in and confidence in government. Other tidbits of wisdom:
  • How to learn from the successes of other tribes
  • The value of developing policies and ordinances and who should write this legislation
  • How to prepare leaders for their role in the tribe
  • Governance challenges and accomplishments of the Yurok tribe
She ends the discussion with her reflections on leadership and developing strong leadership skills, especially the value of focusing on individuals and holding yourself to a higher standard. In her experience, there are still disparities between how people treat women in leadership roles vs. males and she shares how she has attempted to change the status-quo. Her final message includes the importance of traditional knowledge and how it guides the process of nation building.
 
Currently, Susan is the co-president of Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations (WEWIN), an organization she co-founded in 2004.
Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Indigenous Governance Speaker Series: How to Build a Nation with Susan Masten (Yurok)". Native Nations Instititue, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. February 24, 2022.

Transcript available upon request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

Navigating the ARPA: A Series for Tribal Nations. Episode 6: Investing in Your Tribes' Infrastructure

Year

From setting tribal priorities, to building infrastructure, to managing and sustaining projects, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) presents an unprecedented opportunity for the 574 federally recognized tribal nations to use their rights of sovereignty and self-government to strengthen their communities. As the tribes take on the challenges presented by the Act, the Ash Center’s Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is hosting a series designed to assist tribes, to help tribes learn from each other and from a wide array of guest experts. During this session, the sixth in the series, following a round of discussion between the panelists a brief Q+A session will be held to maximize the opportunities for audience participation.

This session, titled "Investing in Your Tribes’ Infrastructure" will feature:

  • Lael Echo-Hawk (Pawnee Nation), Principal, MThirtySix, PLLC
  • Wendy Helgemo (Ho-Chunk Nation), Senior Legislative Attorney, Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP
  • Joe Valandra (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Executive Director, Native American Contractors Association
  • Moderated by Karen Diver (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), HKS MPA 2003, Board of Governors, Honoring Nations, Harvard Project

Presentation slides:  Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act   |   Additional Resources

Navigating the ARPA: A Series for Tribal Nations. Episode 7: Direct Relief for Tribal Citizens: Getting beyond Per Caps

Year

From setting tribal priorities to building infrastructure to managing and sustaining projects, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) presents an unprecedented opportunity for the 574 federally recognized tribal nations to use their rights of sovereignty and self-government to strengthen their communities. As the tribes take on the challenges presented by the Act, the Ash Center’s Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is hosting a series designed to assist tribes, to help tribes learn from each other and from a wide array of guest experts.

During this session, the seventh in the series, following a round of discussion between the panelists, a brief Q+A session will be held to maximize the opportunities for audience participation. This session, titled "Direct Relief for Tribal Citizens: Getting beyond Per Caps" will feature:

  • Rodney Butler, Chairman, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
  • Cathy Chavers, Chairwoman, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Miriam Jorgensen, HKS 1991 MPP 2000 PhD, Research Director, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona
  • Kevin Killer, President, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Karen Diver, Moderator, HKS 2003 MPA, Board of Governors, Honoring Nations, Harvard Project

Presentation slides:  Strategic Dimensions of Revenue Distribution   |   Additional Resources

Stephen Roe Lewis: Effective Tribal Leadership for Change

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Stephen Roe Lewis has been serving two terms as the Governor of the Gila River Indian Community. He follows a strong tradition and family legacy of leadership for the Akimel O’otham and Pee-Posh people in this desert riparian region of Arizona. Governor Lewis has worked on numerous political campaigns and organizing projects throughout Indian Country including Native voter organizing and Native voter protection in 2002 and selected as an Arizona delegate and Co-Chairing the Native American Caucus for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. As well as, serving on the Board of Directors for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the Executive Board for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the Board of Trustees for the Heard Museum of Phoenix. Governor Lewis has wroked with his community to create solutions for resources and education in the Gila River Indian Community. The Management Aquifer Recharge site (MAR-5) project brings together the need for access to water while restoring the return of the Community's riparian area which is vital for farming and the return of wildlife to the Community, and developed a new eductaion reviatlze program to construct a Bureau of Indian Education replacement school and then lease that school back to the federal government. His longstanding work to create a strong Native Nation for the Gila River Inidan Community and making tribal eaderhsip work for change is told in this interview with Native Nations Institute. 

Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Stephen Roe Lewis: Effective Tribal Leadership for Change," Leading Native Nations, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. January 14, 2020

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Vernon Masayesva: Self-Governance and Protecting Water

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Former Tribal Chairman of the Hopi Nation and Executive Director of Black Mesa Trust, Vernon Masayesva relays his thoughts about advocating for self-governance and protection of water rights for Indigenous people. His pursuits in holding accountability of mining in Hopi territory has made Vernon into a leading respected voice on maintaining the sovereignty of water for tribes and intervention toward both entities and pixies that threaten environmental harm on Native lands. Vernon describes his efforts through the creation of Black Mesa Trust and their activities while continuing to be active in keeping the Hopi Nation focused on self-governance that matches the sacred values toward natural resources.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Vernon Masayesva: Self-Governance and Protecting Water." University of Arizona Water Ethics Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, October 20, 2018

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Diane Enos: Native Women in Governance

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Diane Enos, Attorney, Councilwoman & Former President of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. In addition to her tenure with the Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community, Diane has served as Vice President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, as Chairwoman of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, and as a Western Area Delegate to the Tribal Justice Advisory Group, U.S. Department of Justice.

Diane draws from decades of service in tribal government, sharing key insights related to the challenges that Native peoples face in developing effective partnerships with local governments. She also discusses her path toward leading her Nation as a Native two-spirit woman.

This speech was recorded as part of the Native Women in Governance Speaker Series presented by the Native Nations Institute’s Indigenous Governance Program in collaboration with the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.

People
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Diane Enos: Native Women in Governance" Native Women In Governance Speaker Series. Tucson, Arizona. January 15, 2019

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Akimel O'odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council

Year

Recognizing that their youth possess critical insight on a full range of governing issues, tribal leaders chartered the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council in 1988 to give youth a formal voice within the tribal government. The Council is comprised of 20 youth between the ages of 14-21, who are elected by their peers to serve two-year (staggered) terms. After receiving training in communication, team building, ethics, conflict resolution, and parliamentary procedures, Youth Council members present youth issues to the tribal government, oversee various community projects, and attend local, state, and national meetings. Youth Council members have testified before the US Senate on numerous occasions, and the Council produces a continual stream of community and national leaders. 

Resource Type
Citation

"Akimel O'odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council." Honoring Nations: 2002 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2003. Report.

Permissions

This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. 

Tanana Chiefs celebrates its first 100 years

Author
Year

It was just seven blocks away from the Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall that 100 years ago the Tanana Chiefs held their historic meeting with Judge James Wickersham, Alaska’s Congressional delegate, and set the stage for the formation of the Tanana Chiefs Conference.

The chiefs united on issues like land rights, health care and cultural protection as non-Natives moved into the region...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Buxton, Matt. "Tanana Chiefs celebrates its first 100 years." Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. July 6, 2015. Article. (http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/tanana-chiefs-celebrates-its-fi..., accessed September 16, 2015)

How Athabascan leaders crafted the Tanana Chiefs Conference

Year

It was a concern for their people and for future generations that united Interior tribal leaders 100 years ago this week to hold the first official meeting between Interior Alaska Natives and the U.S. government.

The 14 Athabascan men, 10 of whom were chiefs, made the trek from their villages to Fairbanks, where on July 5th and 6th, 1915, they met with a government officials led by Judge James Wickersham, the Alaska territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress. The meeting was held in the George C. Thomas Memorial Library on the waterfront of the Chena River, which today is just a few blocks away from the Tanana Chiefs Conference building...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Buxton, Matt. "How Athabascan leaders crafted the Tanana Chiefs Conference." Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. July 11, 2015. Article. (http://www.newsminer.com/features/sundays/community_features/how-athabas..., accessed September 16, 2015)

How Does Tribal Leadership Compare to Parliamentary Leadership?

Producer
Indian Country Today
Year

Many traditional American Indian governments have significant organizational similarities with contemporary parliamentary governments around the world. A key similarity is that leadership serves only as long as there is supporting political consensus or confidence that the leader or leadership represents the position of the community or nation. Generally, Indigenous political leadership serves at the consent and support of the local group, community, or nation...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Champagne, Duane. "How Does Tribal Leadership Compare to Parliamentary Leadership?" Indian Country Today. September 27, 2013. Article. (https://ictnews.org/archive/how-does-tribal-leadership-compare-to-parliamentary-leadership, accessed July 18, 2023)