Finding Common Roots, Common Futures in Native Nation Building in Aotearoa

12/19/19 06:06:am

The Native Nations Institute (NNI) and the Indigenous Governance Program were well represented at the third convening of Common Roots, Common Futures, hosted by the Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato in Aotearoa November 10th-15th, 2019. This international event connects academics and practitioners from Indigenous communities in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to explore the complexities and challenges, best models, policies, and practices of 21st-century Indigenous governance within their respective countries; to engage in robust discussion; and to explore possible Indigenous governance and self-determination collaboration partnerships.

The weeklong symposium focused on a number of themes with a focus on Indigenous Nation Building, economic development, women's leadership, natural resources, and education. Each panel was organized to have a representative from each of the four countries. Discussions around the themes reinforced that Indigenous communities in each country share similar challenges while implementing solutions within differing national political environments. The conversations offered opportunities for comparative research and sharing of Nation Building strategies and program models, ongoing relationships, as well as advocacy initiatives and mutual support.

Joan Timeche (Hopi), NNI Executive Director, Stephen Cornell, Emeritus Director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, Miriam Jorgensen, NNI Research Director, Torivio Fodder (Taos Pueblo), Indigenous Governance Program Manager, and Karen Diver (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Director of Business Development for the Native American Advancement Initiatives were invited to represent US interests on Native Nation Building, and offered their expertise on topics like water governance, coastal marine governance, economic development, social procurement, dispute resolution, etc. The US contingent also included Megan Minoka Hill (Oneida Nation WI), Director of Honoring Nations at Harvard University, Richard Luarkie (Laguna Pueblo), former governor of the Laguna Pueblo, Melanie Martinez (Santa Ana Pueblo), Chairwoman of Tamaya Enterprise, Inc., and Nathan Garcia (Santa Ana Pueblo), Council member, and former Lt. Governor, both of the Santa Ana Pueblo.

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