Tribal Governance Strategies- A Workshop to Engage State-recognized Tribes

From September 17th-19th 2020, the Native Nations Institute (NNI) hosted a three-day workshop focused on governance under state recognition co-led by Danielle Hiraldo and Hannah Goins. The series of presentations was designed to engage students, tribal leaders, and academics interested in understanding more about the challenges and opportunities that state-recognized tribes face when governing.

Why engage state-recognized tribes?

A workshop focused solely on governance under state recognition has never before been convened. To date, little research exists on the governance challenges and opportunities that state-recognized tribes face (Hiraldo 2018, 2020). Engaging tribal leaders, scholars, and students alike begins to address research gaps and start conversations around questions such as:

  • What does governing under state recognition look like?
  • How might researchers collaborate or partner with state-recognized communities to meet governance needs?

Using community-driven methods, the workshop hosts coordinated presentations around three themes: governance under state recognition, community and economic development, and federal recognition.

DAY 1: Indigenous Governance Under State Recognition


Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee)

Hannah Goins (Lumbee)

Greg Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Tribe)

Chief Lebaron Byrd (MOWA Band of Choctaw)


  • the definition of state recognition and the different relationships found
  • a case study: tribal-state relationships found in North Carolina
  • a case study: the MOWA police force and community development


What Is State Recognition?

North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs

DAY 2: Community and Economic Development


Adam Crepelle (United Houma Nation)

Danielle McLean (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina)


  • development opportunities for state-recognized tribes including the 8A certification under the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • a case study: Lumbee community and economic development activities


Sample State Recognition Language

DAY 3: Federal Recognition


Arlinda Locklear (Lumbee)

Heather McMillan Nakai (Lumbee)


  • definition of federal recognition and its process
  • building meaningful tribal-state relationships
  • examining different methods to gather evidence


Danielle Hiraldo

Danielle Hiraldo, Ph.D., M.P.A. (Lumbee)

Outreach Specialist
Senior Researcher

Hannah E. Goins

Hannah E. Goins (Lumbee)

Graduate Student Coordinator
JD Candidate, University of Arizona Law School

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