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Native Nations Institute and the Crow Canyon Archeological Center (CCAC) co-hosted the Building Native Nations: Native American Heritage and Governance Conference on August 6 - 8, 2019. Native American leaders and cultural heritage professionals gathered to discuss how lessons from Native Nation Building could strengthen their heritage resources management. The conference created a critical space for tribal leadership, professionals, and citizens to enhance their understanding of cultural heritage.
NNI Executive Director Joan Timeche (Hopi) presented on the importance of Nation building, and Research Director Miriam Jorgensen presented best practices for building and sustaining intra- and inter-governmental in the field of cultural heritage. Co-host Sharon Milholland, CCAC Director of American Indian Initiatives, gave an introductory session for cultural heritage resources management. NNI Program Coordinator, Sr., Davida Delmar (Navajo) helped to facilitate conversations about how cultural heritage relates to nation building. The discussions highlighted many similarities: the importance of economic development, the need to promote more programs for youth, and a continued emphasis on cultural arts and education. These tribal programs create essential opportunities to cross collaborate and share resources that in turn, build community interest and support for cultural resource management
Rebecca Tsosie (Yaqui) Regents' Professor at the James E. Rogers College of Law, and Special Advisor to Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arizona, was the keynote speaker and addressed how self-determination is cultural integrity. Other conference sessions explored Indigenous property rights through the study and management of archeology; how tribal museums contribute to self-determination; and intellectual property rights, such as ceremony and songs, as an affirmation of tribal ownership and management of cultural resources.