Native American Leadership

Challenge:  First Nations Development Institute wanted to develop a leadership program that would help Native non-profit leaders excel in the years ahead. They needed insight into the opportunities and challenges facing these leaders operating in Indian Country. The difficulty of the task is that Indian leaders operate in a very unique political and cultural environment.  They have limited resources and struggle to balance multiple constituents’ interests and needs.

Solution:  The director selected RedWind to facilitate a convening of the top 40 Native non-profit leaders in the United States. We prepared and planned the event, facilitated the framing of key issues, and supported the group in reaching conclusions concerning the direction the program should take.

Results: Our staff was able help these American Indian leaders identify the critical results, knowledge requirements, and preferred learning styles for a new Native American Leadership program. The results from the work-shop became the basis for the development of a National American Indian Leadership program.

National Congress of American Indians

Challenge:  Tribal leaders wanted to change the process of tribal, state, and federal policy-making from one of a “reactive, problem-driven” approach to a process informed by research and data. At their request, NCAI launched a national Policy Research Center designed to collect, coordinate, and make available the information, data, and analyses that could serve public policy decisions.

Solution:  RedWind’s facilitated the Strategy Development process for the Center’s Advisory Council. The council created an alternative approach which allowed for the identification of multiple policy options. This approach is characterized by critical debate in Indian Country, especially among tribal leaders.

Results: The resulting work of the Policy Research Center will serve to:

  • Organize existing available data into useful formats to improve its accessibility to tribal leaders, government officials, academics and the public
  • Serve as an information clearinghouse to connect Native institutions through a comprehensive website
  • Connect leading thinkers and institutions so they may develop proactive models for data collection and analysis
  • Identify priorities for research and policy development
  • Educate Tribal leadership, academic entities, Congress, the Administration and the public by publishing and disseminating the results of the Institute’s research

Tribal Self-Assessment Tool

ChallengeA need existed for economic development practices, tools and methodology and to help tribes understand the opportunities and competitive advantages available.

SolutionThe Small Business Administration’s Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) partnered with RedWind to create a “Tribal Self-Assessment Tool”.  Our staff pulled together a coalition of subject matter experts; lawyers well versed in Indian Law, native corporate CEO’s, economists with long-term ties to Indian Country, academics, native entrepreneurs, and leaders of Native non-profits.

Results:  An on-line Tribal Self-Assessment Tool was created to allow community planners and leaders to “walk-through” all of the elements of economic development and assess their tribe’s strengths and weaknesses.  Tribal communities that use the Tribal Self-Assessment Tool will be better positioned to make decisions on economic ventures, will have more tribal community support from the start, and will significantly increase the likelihood of long-term success.

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