Tribal Professionals Cohort

Tribal Professionals Cohort

A year-long professional development program designed to equip Native leaders with knowledge and tools for Native Nation Building

With a focus on Nation Building principles - sovereignty, capable governing institutions, cultural match, strategic orientation, and public-spirited leadership - participants will explore how to strengthen these critical elements of their nation as they work to lead change in their communities.

The TPC program was created in 2016 to respond to the realities, challenges, and opportunities of Tribal Professionals serving Native communities. The TPC program aims to deepen participants' commitment to growth, innovation, and networking. Participants will strengthen their leadership skills, build their advocacy skills, cultivate a network of Tribal professionals who support each other's career growth - all while advancing their own professional, personal, and political capacity to tackle community challenges.

Over the course of the year, cohort members will:

  • Develop a network of relationships with a small group of cross-sector tribal professionals (10 or less) from across U.S. Indian Country who all have a career commitment to serving Native communities, and an interest in finding creative solutions to the most pressing issues in Indigenous governance.
  • Participate in interactive cohort events that include an orientation, JIT courses, seminars with NNI professionals, and networking opportunities throughout the year. In 2023, except for JIT, these events will largely be virtual.
  • Attend an orientation and pre-JIT NNI Native Nation Building session designed to review the program, expectations and commitments, and a sneak peek at Native Nation Building (virtual via Zoom, 2.5 hours).
  • Benefit from a first-rate education on several Indigenous governance topics with world-renowned professors during JIT.
    • All TPC members are required to complete the JIT Course Rebuilding Native Nations: An Introduction as one of the 3 courses.
    • We utilize the UArizona’s Desire to Learn (D2L) platform for reading assignments, classroom assignments, and the final assignment. We encourage students to ensure they have reliable access to the Internet and a computer/laptop/tablet to complete assignments.
    • Completion of three courses garners credit towards a Continuing Education Certificate in Indigenous Governance from the Native Nations Institute.
  • Deepen knowledge and skills in Native Nation Building with free quarterly Nation Building seminars throughout the year (virtual via Zoom, 2.5 hours each).
  • Get opportunities to learn from and connect with guest speakers that include experts, leaders, and practitioners in tribal governance.
  • Receive support from NNI staff/faculty via weekly check-ins during JIT and monthly thereafter (virtual via Zoom, 1 hour each).
  • Enjoy the flexibility of learning from the comfort of your chosen location.
  • Receive discounts on CEU registration rates at future JIT sessions.

  1. An understanding of Native Nation Building approach and principles.
  2. Enhanced ability to effect positive change at work and in your community.
  3. Enhanced leadership abilities and a suite of leadership tools.
  4. Expanded professional networks.

  • U.S. citizens of any U.S. Native nations (Federal or State Recognized) who are interested in learning more about Indigenous governance.
  • Individuals who are current tribal government practitioners, community leaders, and individuals who can demonstrate the ability to take the information they learn back to their own tribal communities are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Only individuals who are able to commit to attending the orientation/pre-session, three JIT courses and four quarterly seminars should apply. Attendance at all sessions is required for successful completion of the program.
  • Meet previous members of the TPC

  • Orientation and pre-JIT Native Nation Building Session on December 14, 2022, from 3-5:30pm AZ/Mountain Standard)
  • JIT Welcome Reception on January 15, 2023 (Tucson, AZ)
  • JIT Courses including required Rebuilding Native Nations: An Introduction course (in-person, January 16 to 18, 2023, 1:30 to 5:50 PM AZ/Mountain Standard)
  • Quarterly Native Nation Building (NNB) seminars held virtually from 3:00 pm –5:30 pm on:
    • #1 - March 17, 2023, AZ/Mountain Standard Time
    • #2 - May 18, 2023, AZ/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
    • #3 - July 23, 2023, AZ/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
    • #4 - October 20, 2023, AZ/Pacific Daylight Savings Time

Course fees waived! Registration of $2,250 for three JIT courses and 4 quarterly seminars is covered. At a minimum, you will be responsible for books (although most courses provide online resources), your per diem, local transportation, incidentals, etc.

A limited number of "Supplemental Travel Scholarships" are available (typically includes lodging at Tucson,AZ, and as funds are available, partial support for transportation to/from Tucson). We encourage cost-sharing with your employer and you to maximize our limited budget. Please inquire and/or include in your application if interested.



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