January in Tucson 2016

03/11/16 08:45:am

January in Tucson (JIT) is a 3-week session of courses offered by the Indigenous Governance Programs (a partnership between the Native Nations Institute and the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Programs) at the University of Arizona campus.

JIT brings together distinguished faculty in the fields of Indigenous governance and Indigenous rights, to teach and hold discussions with Indigenous leaders, practitioners, and community members, as well as other students interested in Indigenous affairs.

JIT 2016 Faculty: Stephen Cornell, Miriam Jorgensen, Joan Timeche, James Anaya, Joseph Kalt, Jaime Pinkham, Robert Williams, and Alison Vivian.

January in Tucson offered courses such as Introduction to Native Nation Building, Indigenous Peoples' Rights Under International Law, Native American Economic Development, and Intergovernmental Relations.

What happened this year?

The fourth session of its kind, January in Tucson 2016 convened approximately 50 students representing 14 U.S. Native nations, and students from Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, and the Philippines completed a total of 150 courses designed to Strengthen Indigenous Governance at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law. It was the largest January in Tucson program to date, and all sessions received excellent feedback.

JIT participants learned from experts in the field of Indigenous governance, and networked with Indigenous leaders and practitioners from across the globe. Faculty and students engaged in in-depth discussions on what Indigenous governance means--locally and globally--and what it looks like in practice.

Many participants indicated that January in Tucson was truly unique--not only due to the curriculum, but also because of the opportunity to interact with such a knowledgeable and diverse group of individuals. Both faculty and participants were palpably excited at the possibilities of staying connected and implementing what they have learned. Among the participants was Neolani Goodyear Kaopua, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

"One of the things that struck me as really valuable about this program is the way it brings together people from different nations...that exchange between Indigenous people has been really powerful for me."

- Noelani Goodyear Kaopua (Native Hawaiian)

"I enjoyed once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet and learn from tribal citizens, educators, leaders, and activists across the United States, who graciously shared their insights and lived experiences of being a Native nation rebuilder. I consider the Indigenous Governance Program's peer-led discussions to be one of the most valuable aspects of my learning process and am inspired by the diverse approaches to strengthening Indigenous governance being implemented worldwide. "

-Verónica Hirsch (Chiricahua Apache)

The program's future is exciting! Participants and faculty discussed and generated new opportunities for the program to expand its reach in future years, while providing world-class education on Indigenous governance for which the Native Nations Institute and Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program (at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law) are known.

A better understanding of Indigenous governance and Indigenous rights enhances our knowledge. It starts here, with Indigenous leaders, practitioners, and community members. These knowledge and culture bearers embody strengthening Indigenous governance.

For more information visit January in Tucson 2016.

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