Empowering Leaders

The Empowering Tribal Leaders Series
Brought to you by NCAI and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Since 1944, NCAI has been committed to building and protecting tribal sovereignty, supporting healthy tribal governments, and fostering thriving tribal communities. Central to that task is supporting tribal leaders as they determine their own paths to tribal self-sufficiency and cultural and financial prosperity.

In collaboration with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, NCAI invites tribal leaders to experience two interconnected initiatives designed to hone their leadership skills to maximize impact at home and beyond. Join NCAI for one, or both, experiences.

Leading Tribal Nations Executive Education Program
NCAI will offer the Leading Tribal Nations Program, a rigorous and innovative Executive Education program developed and facilitated by Harvard Business School (HBS). The program is designed to equip tribal leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to advance their capacity for strategic governance. The interactive curriculum will include legacy leadership, critical thinking and problem solving, strategic decision making, institutional development and planning, coalition building, negotiations and change management.

During the 5-day program, tribal leaders will engage in collaborative learning and problem solving through the cohort model. This will be followed by an additional day of learning and closing ceremony at which participants will be presented with their certificate of completion directly preceding the 2023 Annual Convention. With a focus on application of learning and sustained change, the 5-day + follow-up program structure encourages tribal leaders to implement learning and remain accountable to the priorities they set for themselves and their communities.

To maximize the at-home impact of the program, tribal nations may opt for the “+X” model of participation, which allows tribal leaders to attend the program with 1-2 of their closest advisors. The +X model helps to reduce barriers to change implementation and increase support for new initiatives.

Program Details

  • June 4th-June 9th, 2023 at the Harvard Business School, plus a 1-day follow-up learning experience
  • Program fee is $2,500 and includes lodging and meals on all participant days
  • A limited number of scholarships are available upon inquiry
  • All participants will receive a certificate of completion from Harvard and NCAI

Apply Now!
Leading Tribal Nations Executive Education Program Application


Tribal Leaders Media Training and Communications Fellowship
Hosted at the state of the art media lab at American University in Washington D.C., this fellowship will provide targeted learning and hands-on practice to tribal leaders who wish to increase their communications skills and expand their media presence to meet their community needs. Curriculum will be tailored to, and facilitated by, Native voices with knowledge of the unique media landscape of Indian Country.

Tribal leaders will learn how to leverage media to amplify the issues that matter most. They will walk away with an understanding of how to build and maintain relationships with news media, pitch advantageous stories and navigate diverse interview environments including television, radio, podcast and virtual platforms. Participants will learn customized public speaking strategies and effective storytelling to mobilize citizens and advance policy initiatives. After learning each new skill, participants will have the chance to practice public speaking in a professional audio- visual studio. All participants will be provided with recordings from the learning experience to review their progress.

Program Details

  • March 13th-15th in Washington, D.C.
  • Cost is $1,000 per participant; a limited number of scholarships are available upon inquiry.
  • Price includes four nights of lodging and breakfast, lunch and snack on all participant days.

Apply Now!
Tribal Leaders Media Training and Communications Fellowship Application