Board Governance in the Pacific NW & Tribal Economies in Wisconsin

04/28/21 08:40:am


"As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, this highly insightful and immediately implementable Tribal Nation’s economic diversification guidance is an extremely important resource to help guide the rebuilding of tribal economies and establishment of economic resilience going forward."

–Diane House, GLITC EDA Program Director

NNI has been working with two regional groups, an alliance of Wisconsin American Indian organizations and the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA). The WEDA and First American Capital Corporation (FACC) built upon this foundation through the formation of a working group of Wisconsin tribal economic development subject matter experts – including Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council EDA Program and the Wisconsin Indian Business Alliance (WIBA)--to guide and deliver the Economic Prosperity Planning for Wisconsin Tribes three-part series. NNI developed curriculum for their 201 Economic Prosperity course, which navigates through: Growing Tribal Economies; Frameworks for Tribal Economic and Community Development; Building and Sustaining Tribal Enterprises; Creating Citizen Entrepreneurs and Communication; and Measurement for Tribal Economic and Community Development Success. NNI conducted a ‘train the trainers’ training for GLITC-EDA and FACC, who will be present this curriculum with participating Wisconsin Tribal Nations. Project team consists of Joan Timeche (Hopi), Miriam Jorgensen, Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), and Davida Delmar (Navajo/Diné).

"The professional staff at Native Nations Institute have developed an outstanding Economic Prosperity Planning for [the] WI Tribes 201 session curriculum, as a guide to growing tribal economies, which we are energized to make available to Wisconsin Tribal Nations."

–Gary Mejchar, FACC Co-Executive Director

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), which coordinates management policy and provides technical services for the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribal fisheries, invited Native Nations Institute (NNI) to lead the CRITFC board and staff in a half-day educational seminar on board governance. Over 50 Commissioners and staff, including a tribal chair and several council members from their four member tribes, attended the March 19th session presented by NNI Executive Director Joan Timeche, Outreach Specialist/Senior Researcher Danielle Hiraldo and Senior Program Coordinator, Tribal Services Davida Delmar.

“This was really refreshing, and I could tell [the NNI presenters] were hitting the mark by the level of commissioner engagement, feedback and inquisitiveness that came out across the board.”

–Jaime Pinkham, Executive Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


CRITFC has since asked for a follow-up session to identify board core values, clarify governance roles, and possible policy development. Learn more about NNI’s work with CRITFC and Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance.

Photos courtesy Columbia River Inter Tribal Fish Commission

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