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Jorgensen, Miriam, and Rachel Starks. 2008. Leadership Development in the Native American Arts & Culture Sector. In A Report to the Ford Foundation. New York: Ford Foundation.
This report was generated in collaboration with the Ford Foundation’s Indigenous Knowledge and Expressive Culture grantees. More than 40 leaders in the sector were interviewed to help define the needs and appropriate methods and options for leadership development in the field.
These leaders, who have committed themselves to supporting cultural renewal in their communities, overwhelmingly expressed the need for the development of leadership skills to emerge through culturally appropriate frameworks. In particular, the protection of cultural and community intellectual property rights and tribal sovereignty through the arts emerged as important concerns in leadership development.
Recommendations for culturally appropriate next steps included mentoring, network creation, organization-specific consulting, short duration certificate programs and professional pipeline development.
In the end, there is great consensus on the critical nature of this work, and we are on the cusp of a momentous cultural renewal in Indian Country. It is clear to me as a program officer at the Ford Foundation that an investment in Native arts leadership is tantamount to an investment in the future of tribal America.