15 Native changemakers join Rebuilders Cohort 11

Native Governance Center is celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2019 by welcoming 15 Native changemakers to the Native Nation Rebuilders program! The 15 Native leaders selected for the program’s eleventh cohort represent nine Native nations located in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 

Native Nation Rebuilders are emerging Native American leaders who are passionate about strengthening their nations. The two-year, cohort-based program empowers them to build their community organizing skills and Tribal governance knowledge. Rebuilders come together for four structured leadership training sessions. The sessions feature Native presenters from around the nation who are skilled in digital organizing, nation building, Indigenized facilitation strategies, and community-based governmental change. Rebuilders then complete a governance-focused “action plan,” which challenges them to implement a project that positively impacts their community. 

With the selection of the most recent cohort, Rebuilders now represent 22 of the 23 Native nations located in the three-state region. Cohort 11 Rebuilders have backgrounds in epidemiology, politics, Tribal law enforcement, education, and economic development, among other areas. In total, 153 Rebuilders have graduated from the program. 

The Rebuilders program celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2019. Native Governance Center plans to host a reunion honoring a decade of Native leaders in June 2020. Wayne Ducheneaux II (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Executive Director of Native Governance Center, said the following about this moment in the program’s history: “As we announce Cohort 11 and reflect on the last 10 years of the Native Nation Rebuilders program, I’m very excited that we’re continuing a legacy of work to educate, organize, and strengthen Indigenous leadership. This program, born out of conversations with Tribal leaders, increases leadership capacity in Indian Country. I am excited to see how this new group moves us forward in that endeavor.

The Cohort 11 Rebuilders’ names and Tribal affiliations are below. The next round of applications for the twelfth cohort of Rebuilders will be announced in the summer of 2020.

Cohort 11 Rebuilders

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Amber Annis

Kelsey Ducheneaux

Alli Moran

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Joleen Abourezk

Rosebud Sioux Tribe 

Buster Issenock

Shere Wright

Spirit Lake Nation

Jewel Azure

Lydell Merrick

Mike Mudgett

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe 

Nathaniel Brown

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Daniel Henry

Courtney Davis Souvannasacd

Upper Sioux Community 

Adam Savariego

White Earth Nation 

Curtis Rogers

Eugene Sommers

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