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NNI’s International Advisory Council (IAC) convened in Fort Yates, ND at the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on October 21-22, 2016. The IAC, which meets twice a year, consists of current and past Native leaders, scholars, community leaders, administrators, and nonprofit organization executives. The advisory council provides input and advice to ensure NNI’s programs continue to have the maximum benefit effect for Native nations.
NNI staff and IAC members were hosted by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Dave Archambault II, tribal chairman, and Phyllis Young, former tribal council member, briefed meeting attendees on the tribe’s nation building efforts in the current conflict over protecting sacred land and water.
NNI has had a long-term partnership with the Bush Foundation and since 2016, the Native Governance Center to develop leaders in the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota region. Six participants in the Native Nation Rebuilding Program (five from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and one from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) attended the meeting to provide in-person reports about their experiences as Rebuilders. Chairman Archambault and IAC member Eileen Briggs (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) are also program graduates and offered additional comments about the impact the program has had in their lives and on their tribal communities.