This unique educational program is intended to help non-Native professionals build mutually beneficial relationships with Native Peoples.
Native nations play an integral role in modern society and their inclusion in critical discussions is key to creating a better future for all peoples. What’s more, federal, state, and local regulations increasingly require consultation with Native nations to enact business decisions that might have an impact on the land or other natural resources that belong to Native Peoples, or that could otherwise impact Native communities.
This unique seminar designed and delivered by the experienced Indigenous professionals at the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute (NNI) helps professionals in the private, nonprofit and government sectors cultivate a better understanding of the culture of Native Americans and the governments of Native nations so they can create thriving working relationships and develop mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and their communities.
Previously offered only on a contract basis to individual companies and organizations like Evident Change, the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Tucson’s Native Seeds Search to name a few, for the first time ever, this in-demand seminar is open to the public at an extremely discounted rate.
“After receiving too many requests for our office to meet the demand for individual contracts in this area, we wanted to give professionals across the United States the chance to learn how to develop meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with Native nations and Native Peoples,” says NNI Executive Director and Native Know-How Instructor Joan Timeche. Timeche is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe.
According to NNI Tribal and Direct Services Manager and Native Know-How Instructor Crystal Miller, opening the event up to the public will also provide the benefit of generating discussion amongst a broader base of professionals across industries. “We hope that having this open to the public will bring more diverse perspectives and responses from many different organizations across the board,” says Miller, who is a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe. “It will also provide the opportunity for those who have experience working with a tribe or Native nation to offer something meaningful to other professionals and organizations that could help them in their efforts to build stronger relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities,” says Miller.
In addition to learning about the underpinnings of tribal sovereignty and how to recognize and avoid stereotypes that can have a negative impact on an organization’s ability to work with a tribe, NNI staff explain that those looking to work with tribes also need to learn how to work with Native governments that might not operate in ways that are entirely familiar to non-Native people.
“Working with Native nations is more than just asking a Tribal Council for permission to do business,” Timeche adds, “It involves understanding how Indigenous governments operate, knowing who to reach out to in order to start the relationship-building process, and learning how to communicate in a way that acknowledges and respects the needs of Native nations and the people they represent.”
To this end, the Native Nations Institute is running a hybrid version of their Native Know-How Seminar that is open to the public for a single four-hour session on May 25, 2023. Registrants can attend via Zoom or show up in person at the UArizona’s award-winning ENR2 building.
The deadline for registration is May 19 and in-person attendance is limited to 50 total participants, so those who want to attend are encouraged to sign up sooner rather than later.