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The Native Nations Institute’s (NNI) Tribal and Direct Services team, which assists Native nations or organizations strengthen their governance, has been continuing their education and facilitation services virtually since March 2020 but at the end of last year, conducted its first in-person tribal session since the pandemic. In December 2021, NNI facilitated a three-day in-person Nation Building Seminar for the Hopi Tribe’s Department Directors in Flagstaff, Arizona.
It was an exciting opportunity to connect in-person with a tribal community for the NNI Tribal Services team of Davida Delmar (Navajo Nation/Diné), Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), and Joan Timeche (Hopi). This was an especially important session for Timeche, since she is a citizen of the Hopi Tribe whose family resides in the Village of Old Oraibi. She commented,
“It was great reconnecting, getting updated on the challenges and successes of my tribe, and most of all, I’m very happy that we have begun the discussion and work to strengthen the Hopi Tribe.“
The Hopi Tribe’s Executive Director’s office had an equally positive comment:
“We had a great session with NNI led by our very own tribal member, Joan Timeche. Our team of Department Directors went to this session to see how we could improve our organization structure and walked away with a comprehensive assessment of governance challenges, goals and action steps that needed to occur using the Nation Building model. The session also served as a good team building exercise and was good to get all the Directors on the same page. We recognized that to truly embark on nation building we need to not only get our elected leaders on board but also engage all of our community members – both on and off the reservation, and we now have the tools to do this. I would strongly encourage our elected leaders and other tribal nations to go through NNI’s Governance Analysis for Native Nations.”
The result of their commitment to this process is being realized in stronger governance practices and a healthier community.It must be said that this partnership could not have happened without a meaningful connection made with the Hopi Tribe at the NNI Tribal and Direct Services Advisory meeting held in September 2021. NNI looks forward to continued work with the Hopi Tribe.