The Bush Foundation in St. Paul, Minnesota, has announced the first cohort of Native leaders to participate in its Native Nations Rebuilders initiative.
Launched late last year, the two-year Rebuilders initiative invites emerging and experienced Native leaders to participate in training seminars and other activities, share knowledge with peers and their nations' governments, and develop and implement nation-building action plans. Training is led by national experts on Native self-determination from the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, both of which work to help Native nations realize their political, economic, and community development objectives.
The first cohort of Rebuilders includes fourteen women and fourteen men ranging in age from 26 to 65 who work in fields such as tribal and state government service, tribal college administration, law, nonprofit management, natural resource management, and health care. Four of the Rebuilders are Bush Leadership Fellows. The group gathered last week in Shakopee, Minnesota, for the first of four training seminars that will take place this year. Next year, the group will implement the action plans created at the seminars and engage in practical nation-building efforts within their communities.
"It's a potentially powerful combination for elected tribal leaders to have the support of others in their nations who not only share their commitment to nation-building but have also committed to deepening their leadership skills," said Jaime Pinkham, Bush Foundation vice president and Native nations team leader. "While the foundation is still learning about Native self-determination, thanks to our long-standing fellowship programs, we know something about how to support emerging and existing leaders in strengthening their skills. We're excited about the caliber of this first group of leaders who stepped forward to be Rebuilders."
See the Bush Foundation Web site for additional information on each of the participants.