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Indigenous Governance Database




The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI), housed at The University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, serves as a self-determination, governance, and development resource for Indigenous nations in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

NNI was founded in 2001 by the Morris K. Udall Foundation (now Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation) and The University of Arizona.



Joan Timeche

NNI's Timeche Quoted in Washington Post
April 1, 2014

NNI executive director Joan Timeche was quoted in a recent Washington Post blog article by Mary Hudetz, “Why Native American women have been leaders in the fight against team mascots.”

Hudetz wrote: “Just as more women across the United States have stepped into leadership roles, it’s become clear, at least anecdotally, that during the past 30 years more Native American women also have assumed positions on tribal councils and taken on decision-making roles in their communities, said Joan Timeche, executive director at the Native Nations Institute at University of Arizona.”

Visit Washington Post site for full article>


Sovereignty Book

New Book on Tribal Constitutions
Co-authored by NNI’s Miriam Jorgensen

Melissa L. Tatum, Miriam Jorgensen, Mary E. Guss, and Sarah Deer. (2014). Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations. UCLA American Indian Studies Center Publications.  

Drafting and adopting a constitution is a collective journey of self-discovery and reflection for any nation, Indigenous or non-Indigenous. This book is a guide for communities engaged in the process of drafting a constitution and for students who are studying that process. It draws on research, firsthand experience with constitution writing and constitutional change, and numerous examples from actual governing documents to demonstrate the many ways that Indigenous nations can structure their sovereignty.

"incredibly timely . . . a most valuable companion . . . and a resource of the highest order."

Purchase from publisher's site> 


NNI Researshers

Mikisew Case Study Released

"Forwarding First Nation Goals through Enterprise Ownership: The Mikisew Group Of Companies" by Miriam Jorgensen and Rachel Starks (both NNI researchers), was prepared for the Best Practices in Rural Alberta Project. The Project, developed and administered by the Indigenous Leadership and Management program at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, was made possible by contributions from The Banff Centre, Rural Alberta Development Fund, and Nexen, Inc.

Read case study here> PDF

Contact: Rachel Starks

Photo by Gavin Young at the Calgary Herald


Native Nations Institute Research Featured at
National Conference on Indigenous Governance
March 6-7, 2014
Los Angeles, California

NNI researchers presented on the roles of self determination, health care, gender, and the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity in tribal economies and governance. The forum was Good Native Governance: Innovative Research in Law, Education, and Economic Development, hosted March 6-7, 2014, by UCLA's American Indian Studies Center.

Learn more about NNI's presentations here>

Read about NNI's
policy analysis and research program here>


NNI in the News >

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