Dr. Karen Diver: Indigenous autonomy is the way forward

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

Dr. Karen Diver spoke at ANZSOG's Reimagining Public Administration conference on February 20, as part of a plenary on International perspectives on Indigenous affairs. The Native American tribal leader and former adviser to President Obama, said that Indigenous communities had been inexorably changed by conflict, and needed to design systems to protect rights and land. She said that autonomy had been shown to be the best way to generate economic growth and address social issues. “Co-design, co-management only works when the other side follows through. Co-ordination needs to give way to autonomy, give us big buckets and freedom to solve problems our own way,” she said. “If the problem is juvenile delinquency, then we know the kids and their families, we know the schools. The solution that we might come up with acknowledges the broader picture.” “The solutions we design are the ones that work.”

Resource Type

Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). Feb. 21, 2019. Dr. Karen Diver: Indigenous autonomy is the way forward [video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmYfuhK9JzA&t=2s

Transcripts are available upon request. Please contact the Native Nations Institute for a transcript of this video: nni@email.arizona.edu

Related Resources


Karen Diver is a former Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and former Vice President of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, while also served as an adviser to President Obama as his Special Assistant for Native American affairs. Her incredible career as  renowned Native…


In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Chairwoman Karen Diver of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa discusses the critical importance of Native nations' systematic development of its governing institutions and human resource ability to their ability to exercise sovereignty…

Exercising Sovereignty and Expanding Economic Opportunity Through Tribal Land Management

While the United States faces one of the most significant housing crises in the nation’s history, many forget that Indian housing has been in crisis for generations. This report seeks to take some important steps toward a future where safe, affordable, and decent housing is available to Native…