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From June 12-15, 2017, NNI Associate Director Stephanie Carroll Rainie, Graduate Research Associate Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, and Research Specialist Andrew Martinez attended the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2017 Mid Year Conference, "Sovereign Infrastructure: Building Our Communities Through our Values," held at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
Martinez presented "What is Native nation building and how does tribal child welfare fit in?" as part of the preconference session "Strengthening the Leadership Role and Operation of Tribal Child Welfare Services" hosted by the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA). Discussions after the talk emphasized the importance of tribal governance structures that align with community values and culture and that work to protect Native children and strengthen families. NICWA provided its publication Effective Leadership for Tribal Child Welfare to all session participants.
Rainie and Rodriguez-Lonebear participated in the preconference session "Building Tribal Research and Evaluation Capacity." Together, they presented "Indigenous Nation Data Governance: Data for Nation Rebuilding," detailing the history of and current strategies for the governance of Indigenous data by tribes, other governments, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Rodriguez-Lonebear also presented results from the NCAI Tribal Data Survey, which she conducted as an NCAI Data Fellow.
At the full conference, Rainie and Rodriguez-Lonebear were invited participants in the 12th annual NCAI Tribal Leader-Scholar Forum, Sovereign Infrastructure: Building Our Communities through Our Values. Their presentation, "Laying the Groundwork: Why Tribes Need Data & Research," was part of the breakout session, "Building Tribal Data Infrastructure."