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2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges to our safety, well-being, and governance. It has also resulted in increased opportunities for Native nations/communities to partner with external entities, which in turn requires a foundation of understanding.
Over the past two months, the NNI Tribal Services Team partnered with the Agnes Helm Haury Program (Haury) at UArizona and Lead For America (LFA), based in Minnesota, to offer one of our most popular seminars, Native Know-How: Understanding How to Work and Partner with Native Nations (NKH). The Haury session was made available for UArizona faculty and staff while the LFA utilized the Native Know-How seminar as an orientation for LFA’s Hometown Fellows. Both online sessions had the goal of fostering stronger relationships in their respective applied research work with tribal nations/communities and peoples.
The NKH seminar leads participants through three key areas: knowing and understanding tribal sovereignty; gaining a basic awareness of tribal governments and governance; and identifying ways that participants might work or partner with Native nations. Its unique content provides audiences with resources and perspectives from various Native nations and draws from the personal experiences of NNI presenters Joan Timeche (Hopi), Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), and Davida Delmar (Navajo Nation/Diné). NNI looks forward to more partnerships with organizations who wish to work with tribal communities and advance their professional trainings.
“The sessions reminded me to show humility, to educate myself and ask questions about how each tribe prefers to operate. For example, our team is working with different tribal councils on how they want to handle requesting local data for health and education evaluations, and this process might look different across tribes. We will also go back to the tribes to interpret and contextualize the data properly, focusing on community assets and how we can work towards long-term tribal goals."
–Native Know-How Seminar Participant