About Us


Native Governance Center is a Native-led nonprofit dedicated to assisting Native nations in strengthening their governance systems and capacity to exercise sovereignty.

Values We Live By

HONOR SOVEREIGNTY: We honor the inherent sovereignty of every Native nation. We show respect for and learn from each nation’s unique history, culture, and insight.

PRACTICE HUMILITY: We recognize that we will not always know the answer. We embrace moments that humble us, seeking knowledge and wisdom to move forward.

BE A GOOD RELATIVE: Being good relatives is foundational for how we work. We build kinship through trust, mutual respect, and mindful listening.

CENTER INDIGENEITY: We embody and ground ourselves in Indigenous worldviews, uplifting Indigenous culture and practices across our work.

EMBRACE FUN, UNAPOLOGETICALLY! We balance the hard work of decolonization with the good medicine of laughter and fun.

About Our Work

We opened our doors in January 2016 in response to a need identified by Tribal leaders from the 23 Native nations that share geography with Mni Sota Makoce, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These leaders asked for an organization that would meet the increasing demand for Indigenous governance and leadership development resources in the region.

We work to meet this demand by teaching a Native nation rebuilding approach. Our on-the-ground experience and our deep understanding of academic research tell us that Native nation rebuilding is a powerful strategy for transforming lives. The rebuilding framework consists of five research-based strategies for strengthening Indigenous governance. Native nations with stronger governance systems are better able to use their sovereignty to determine their own future and improve their quality of life.

To this end, we’re working to cultivate a Native nation rebuilding movement; we envision this movement leading to a future where all Indigenous people can thrive on their own terms. We see abundance, restoration, community building, brainstorming, and centering Indigeneity as elements of this new future.

To further the movement, our organization provides Native nations with customized resources, learning experiences, and technical assistance related to Indigenous governance. We also train Indigenous changemakers through our Native Nation Rebuilders program, a program founded on Indigenous values and real-life leadership and governance success stories. Finally, we help our greater community better understand the concepts fundamental to our work; we know we won’t fully meet our goals without broad public support.

We continuously develop and refine our programming based on feedback from the community. We hope to expand our program offerings and our service region with strategic thoughtfulness toward needs identified by communities. We are always planning for the next seven generations.

Fact Sheet

The link below will allow you to download a brief 1-page fact sheet about NGC.

What is Sovereignty?

Sovereignty is the inherent right of Native nations to design and control their own future.