Meeting the Need for Higher Education and Professional Development

Native Nations Institute

Native Nations Institute and the Indigenous Governance Program presented a panel at TENWEST 2019 in Tucson called “Meeting the Need for Higher Education & Professional Development.” The panelists presented a case study on how the Indigenous Governance Program (and a proposed School of Indigenous Governance and Development that is still in the planning phase) at the University of Arizona was created to address a growing need for education related to Indigenous governance best practices among tribal nations in the U.S. and Indigenous communities around the world. To date, the program has reached over 350 participants from over 30 Native nations on 6 continents.

Included in the presentation are stories about how these programs have helped tribes to strengthen their governance, rebuild their nations, and demonstrate sovereignty in action. Panelists included are: 

Joan Timeche, Executive Director, Native Nations Institute

Tory Fodder, Indigenous Governance Program Manager

Robert Williams, Jr., JD, Professor, Regent’s Professor, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, University of Arizona

Transcript available upon request. Please email:

Related Resources


Native Nations Institute Executive Director Joan Timeche shares her experiences as a board member on two tribal economic development corporations, and identifies some key things that Native nations need to consider as they work to craft effective approaches to corporate governance.


University of Arizona Professor of Law Robert A. Williams, Jr. provides an overview of the U.S. government's centuries-long assault on tribal sovereignty -- in particular the ability of Native nations to make and enforce law -- and stresses the importance of Native nations systematically building…

Reframing Return on Investments for Tribal Colleges and Universities: Aligning Analyses with Tribal Priorities and Educational Missions

TCUs serve dual missions: educating students and addressing American Indian tribal priorities. Due to this unique status, mainstream ROI metrics fail to fully align with TCU missions. This paper critiques mainstream measures of ROI in the tribal context and provides insights into alternative ROI…

Higher Education & Workforce Development: Leveraging Tribal Investments to Advance Community Goals

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center's 2010 Tribal Research Priorities Survey reported that education and economic development are top research priorities for tribes. Respondents noted their interest in research and resources regarding how to: (1) create jobs and…