Job Details

Tribal Food Sovereignty - Research Fellow

Open Date:


Close Date:



National Congress of American Indians



Skills And Qualifications:

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  • Bachelor's degree in public policy/government, Native American Studies, Environmental Studies, or a related field preferred. Substantive work experience may substitute for a degree.
  • Experience working on federal Indian policy, agriculture, and food security issues, and/or with American Indian/Alaska Native tribal governments.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience researching and writing reports, briefs, communications materials, and other publicly shared resources for Indian Country- and/or federal government- based audiences; community dissemination, designing graphs/charts; publication design and formatting; and producing online/social media content.
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including tribal leaders, intertribal organizations, legislative staff, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Experience in project management is a plus; and
  • Proficient in Microsoft Suite.


  • Knowledge of food sovereignty, agriculture, and other food-related tribal issues, including as those policy areas relate to tribal government.
  • Strong working knowledge of Native American culture and the social and cultural policy issues impacting tribal governments, experience in tribal government operations or understanding tribal governments is a plus.
  • Superior communication skills both orally and writing in an effective, organized, professional, and timely manner, including authorship, editing, and proofreading.
  • Excellent organizational, problem solving, and negotiation skills.
  • Exceptional research skills.
  • Strong writing, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Ability to effectively collect, analyze, organize, distill, and present information.
  • Ability to represent NCAI in a professional manner.
  • Ability to take direction, work independently, and take initiative within areas of responsibility while working in a team-oriented environment.
  • Attention to detail, accuracy, and deadlines; and
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for working in a fast-paced, dynamic, and high-pressure environment.

Duties And Responsibilities:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people, and rights.


NCAI is a national leader in policy and government relations concerning issues impacting Tribal Nations and peoples. The organization provides essential information and education on key policy initiatives, enhances coordination and consultation with tribal governments, and leads efforts to unite tribal advocates to promote progressive, proactive federal Indian policy. In 2018, NCAI established its Tribal Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative (TFSAI) to support the development and strengthening of Tribal Nations’ efforts to exercise sovereignty fully and effectively over the food systems upon which their citizens, communities, and cultures depend.

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the primary duties of the Tribal Food Sovereignty Research Fellow include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating and driving the formulation and delivery of key initiative deliverables, including a Tribal Food Sovereignty Resource Center, tribal “best practice” case studies, online informational and educational resources, and initiative-based stand-alone events and NCAI conference sessions.
  • Collating and conducting research on tribal food sovereignty resources for NCAI's Tribal Food Sovereignty Resource Center.
  • Continuously tracking and assessing the state of research on tribal food sovereignty to identify where the current and future research conducted by NCAI and/or its partners can bring particular value.
  • Developing partnerships with key stakeholder organizations and Tribal Nations in the field of tribal food sovereignty for the purpose of identifying and showcasing research and resources that will be included in the Tribal Food Sovereignty Resource Center and are particularly useful to tribal food sovereignty efforts (as well as informing their development).
  • Building and stewarding a comprehensive national network of tribal food sovereignty practitioners and tribal leaders.
  • Developing and implementing an outreach plan to engage key target audiences to ensure that NCAI's resource development and policy advocacy efforts on tribal food sovereignty are relevant and impactful.
  • Coordinating with TFSAI Co-Managers to develop a workflow and plan for ingesting TFSAI resources into NCAI's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) for eventual routing to the online resource center; and
  • Participating in user training to obtain proficiency in uploading content onto NCAI's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).

The incumbent will serve as a part of a project-based team of six people and will report to the Executive Director and NCAI’s TFSAI co-managers.

Salary And Benefits:

Annual Salary: Negotiable based on experience and skill set related to the qualifications stated.

Contact Info:

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample by email to

Contact Email:

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