Tribal Governance Support

Overview and Program Goals

Our Tribal Governance Support (TGS) program engages elected Tribal leaders, Tribal administrators, and Tribal citizens in strengthening their Tribal governance systems through educational opportunities, technical assistance, and resources. TGS uses the Native nation rebuilding philosophy to empower leaders and citizens to create change that will impact the next seven generations and beyond.

“Native nation rebuilding” refers to creating Native-run, self-determined programs and governance structures that elevate a Native nation’s values and strengths.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about Tribal Governance Support, let us know!

Michelle Red Day

Program Coordinator - Tribal Governance michelle@nativegov.org

It takes all of us to strengthen Tribal governance–it’s not just a task for Tribal leaders. Because of this, our programming supports a wide variety of Native changemakers.

Our TGS programming was informed by sitting down and listening to the challenges, needs, and successes communicated to us by Tribal leaders in our region. We believe strongly in respecting Native nations’ inherent sovereignty; we see ourselves as partners with Native nations as they participate in our TGS services.

If you or your nation are interested in our programming, we’ll work to build a strong relationship by listening to your needs, hopes, and visions. We use this input to inform the type of educational opportunities and resources we provide. In most cases, the support we provide is customized. We are excited to work with nations who are ready to roll up their sleeves to create the change that is needed for long-term positive impact.

Listening Tour Report

Between 2019 and 2021, we conducted a Native Nations Listening Tour, to further center the needs of Native nations and their elected leaders in our region. Our data identifies Tribal governance priorities, needs, challenges, and successes. Read more on our Resources page and download the full report.

Native Nations Listening Tour Report

Services

We currently offer the following services for Tribal Governance Support.

This initiative provides Tribal leaders and staff with a deep dive into traditional Indigenous governance and Native nation rebuilding. Read more about it here.

We support Native nations with creating and implementing their own Tribal civics experience that reflects their people’s history, culture, language, and government.

We’re launching a new Tribal Finance program to support Native nations in building their financial capacity. The program is currently in a pilot stage; we’re partnering with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to host the pilot. 

Request Governance Services

Please use the link below to request our tribal governance support services. The information you provide will help us assess whether we have the capacity to support your request effectively.

Related Governance Resources

The 2020 Census at Red Lake Nation

The census has a dismal record of undercounting certain population groups, in particular Native Americans residing on reservations. The 2020 census faced two unprecedented challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic and political interference by the Trump administration. For Native communities across the country, the result was a net undercount of 5.64%. At Red Lake Nation in northwestern Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota), however, through outstanding leadership and a series of actions that embody Native nation rebuilding principles, Red Lake Nation achieved a count of 100% of known housing units.

Tribal Civics: A Guide for Fostering Engagement

A Tribal civics initiative is a formal or informal learning opportunity for Tribal citizens to learn about their people’s history, cultural values and practices, traditional forms of governance, and current governmental structure and administration. This guide is for Indigenous youth, educators, knowledge keepers, grassroots and elected leaders; it’s for anyone who aspires to create and implement a Tribal civics engagement plan for their nation. This resource is available to download as a PDF.

Indigenous Financial Management

Informed leadership and strong financial management practices are crucial components for effective self-governance, something we refer to as nation rebuilding. Nation rebuilding is the process of leaving behind ineffective models of Tribal governance, or the standard approach, and rebuilding culturally-relevant governance institutions through five established elements of success: sovereignty, capable governing institutions, cultural match, strategic orientation, and spirited leadership.