The group includes twelve women and five men who directly serve the people of their nations as educators, lawyers, elected tribal leaders, and administrators of a variety of social services programs. Each draws from his or her experience in fields such as health care, education, tribal administration, business, cultural resources, and community development. Launched in December 2009, the program aims to help Native American leaders strengthen their leadership skills and nation-building knowledge.
During the first six months of the two-year program, the foundation and its partner, the Native Nations Institute, will provide participants with access to ideas and information, peer networks, leadership training, and other resources. Participants will then use these tools and newly acquired skills to implement action plans and engage in practical nation-building projects within their communities.
"For Native nation-rebuilding to reach its greatest potential, the people must participate with their elected leaders to craft an authentic governance structure," said Bush Foundation vice president Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce). "These seventeen new Rebuilders share a commitment to such participation — first, by their willingness to improve their knowledge about nation-building, and second, by their efforts to work with elected leaders in their nation's exercise of its sovereignty. Together with the fifty Rebuilders who came before them, these seventeen unique and passionate Native citizens are valuable assets to their nations and can inspire all Native citizens to participate in nation-rebuilding efforts."
For a list of participants, visit the Bush Foundation Web site.