Overview

The goal of our Tribal Civics Project is to empower and inspire Indigenous people to be civically engaged with their Native nations and governments. Strengthening civic engagement is important because it leads to strong leadership, governance, and the ability to create a self-determined future. Civic engagement can look like:

  • Getting involved with the community
  • Holding elected leaders accountable
  • Attending Tribal council meetings
  • Helping identify solutions to address challenges
  • Supporting voter engagement
  • Sharing historical and cultural knowledge

We created the project based on feedback from elected Tribal leaders. We recently carried out a Native Nations Listening Tour to gather information on Native nations’ needs, and many elected leaders mentioned the need to strengthen civic engagement among their Tribal citizens.

Contact Us

Do you have questions about Tribal Civics? Connect with Michelle!

Michelle Red Day

Program Coordinator - Tribal Governance michelle@nativegov.org

Interested in participating in our Tribal Civics project? Complete the form below to get started!

Taking Action

The feedback we received during our tour aligned well with an action plan carried out by one of our Native Nation Rebuilders: Cohort 9 Rebuilder Levi Brown developed a Tribal civics course. While originally tailored specifically to his Native nation, our team worked with him and other leaders to create a Tribal civics model available to all interested Native nations. We hope this initiative will lead to more informed Tribal citizens who are empowered to participate in and contribute to their nations and governments.

What's Next

We are excited to launch our virtual workshop series in 2022! We will be recruiting Tribal citizens, Native changemakers, educators, and grassroots community leaders from various Native nations to participate in this pilot. Reach out to program manager Apryl Deel-McKenzie if you are interested!

Related 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.