Join the Nation Building Movement!

Thank you for your interest in the Native Nation Rebuilders program! We built this program for citizens of the 23 Native nations in our region who have a passion for learning about innovative Tribal governance practices and ways to take these ideas and approaches to their own Native nations to make a positive difference.

Applications for Cohort 11 are now closed!

Stay tuned to apply for Cohort 12 in 2020.


Applicants to the Native Nations Rebuilders Program:

  • Must be an enrolled member of one of the 23 Native nations that shares geography with Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
  • Must currently live in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that share that same geography.
  • Must be at least 25 years of age by the date of the first session.
  • Must be able to attend all four in-person sessions and complete assignments between these sessions.

This two year leadership program consists of in-person nation building trainings in the first year and implementing an action plan in the second year. Rebuilders are required to attend four sessions during the course of their first year.

Session dates for Cohort 11 in 2019-2020 are as follows (attendance is required at all sessions):

  • December 4-6, 2019
  • April 21-24, 2020
  • September 22-25, 2020
  • December 2-4, 2020

If you do not attend all required sessions or complete your assignments, you will have to withdraw from the program.

The program is an intensive learning experience intended to build cohorts of Native leaders. As such, we cannot accommodate family members during the sessions.

Native Governance Center covers and reimburses the cost of travel, lodging, and meals. After travel and lodging arrangements have been made, if you require cancellations or changes, you will be billed for costs to Native Governance Center resulting from those cancellations and changes.


Native Governance Center will only consider complete applications for the program. A complete application must include the all of the following:

  • Online application form
  • Two professional references – completed and submitted by each reference
  • Employer Commitment form – completed and submitted by your employer
  • CV / Resume
  • Headshot


Curious to know what the application process looks like? Read on for a brief description of each requirement.


The first step is for you to fill out the online application. We’ll ask some basic questions about you – contact information, education, and employment. These help us better understand the demographics of our applicants.

You’ll then be asked to complete short essay questions about your thoughts and experiences with individual and community engagement, and tribal governance knowledge.

After confirming your commitment to participate fully if you are selected, and submitting your application, we’ll send you an email with links for you to send to your two professional references and your employer.


In addition to the online application, you must have two professional references submitted in support of your application. These references must be from two non-relatives who are familiar with your values, character, and goals. You will receive a link to an online form to send to your references.

Reference forms must be submitted by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete. Any forms received after the deadline will not be considered.


You are required to have a letter of support from your employer. The commitment is for your employer to support you in this effort and to allow you time away from work to attend the sessions.

Program participants must make a significant commitment of time and energy. You are required to attend four separate sessions during the two-year program, for a total of 4 days in 2019 and 13 days in 2020, plus travel time. Native Governance Center covers participant costs relating to travel, meals, and lodging.

The Employer Commitment form must be submitted by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete. Any forms received after the deadline will not be considered.


In order for your application to be complete and eligible for consideration, all forms must be submitted by the deadline.

Application form, references, and employer support letters must be submitted by September 11, 2019 at 11:59PM CST. Any forms received after the deadline will not be considered.


A selection committee composed of individuals with expertise in nation building will evaluate each Rebuilder candidate according to his or her commitment to Native sovereignty, leadership experience, knowledge of the issues facing their nation, and potential to help their nation.


We also invite nominations for the Rebuilders Program! Do you know someone who would make an excellent Rebuilder? We’ll reach out to the nominee and encourage them to submit an application.

A nomination does not guarantee entrance into the program. An independent selection panel reviews and selects 20-25 individuals per cohort. Nominees must meet the eligibility requirements listed above.

Nominations closed August 28, 2019 at 11:59 PM to allow nominees time to submit their application if they so choose.


Applications for Cohort 11 closed on September 11, 2019 at 11:59 PM CST. Cohort 12 applications will open in Summer 2020.


If you have questions about the program, see our FAQ page or contact us at or 651-412-4462.