The in St. Paul has selected more than two dozen Native leaders to participate in its Native Nations Rebuilders Program.
Fifteen women and twelve men representing thirteen of the twenty-three Native nations in the geographic area served by the foundation will work over the next two years to develop their leadership skills and nation-building knowledge, with the goal of working with elected leaders to help their respective nations achieve their long-term objectives. Launched in 2010, the program brings participants together five times a year for meetings led by regional and national partners with expertise in nation rebuilding, organizing, and issues specific to Indian Country.
"Around the world, Native nations are seeking to rebuild culturally authentic governance structures. Rebuilders can be valuable assets to elected tribal leaders in pursuing a nation-building strategy," said Bush Foundation vice president Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce). "Rebuilders are passionate about their nation's exercise of its sovereignty and can inspire all Native citizens to consider how nation-building can change what’s possible in Indian Country."
"I love my tribe, and I want to help expand on all the great work we have done so far to make Bois Forte a wonderful and innovative place," said Vanessa Little, the first program participant to be selected from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. "I believe the Native Nation Rebuilders Program will [enable us all to] learn what has been done from existing Native leaders, and to hear exciting new ideas from emerging Native leaders. If we can create a good juxtaposition of these two, I think amazing things can happen for all of our nations."
For a complete list of , visit the Bush Foundation Web site.