Published on Mar 22, 2022
Washington, DC | On March 22, 2022, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Committee announced its 2022 Mid-Year Conference & Marketplace theme, ‘Thinking Beyond Self-Determination,’ and announced the development of the NCAI Sovereignty Institute as part of the organization’s renewed strategic vision to enhance and support tribal governance in Indian Country.
“As tribal leaders and members of NCAI’s Executive Committee, we realized the times have called for us to embrace a new era in which we are thinking beyond self-determination and beginning to define a Nation-to-Nation period of tribal governance,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp. “‘Thinking Beyond Self-Determination’ is a way to set the stage and usher in a time of proactive strategy, advocacy, and governance. The formation of the Sovereignty Institute at NCAI will provide innovative tools and resources to support Tribal Nations as they work to define this new era on their own terms.”
The announcements come at the conclusion of the NCAI Executive Committee’s strategic planning retreat, held over the weekend on the Gila River Indian Community Reservation. Elected representatives from each of the 12 NCAI regions gathered in person to map out a renewed vision for the 78-year-old organization, which includes providing Tribal Nations a platform for consensus-based policy development and advocacy.
The Sovereignty Institute will help develop usable data and resources to support the ability of Tribal Nations to seize expanded opportunities for self-governance through a range of innovative programs.
The Sovereignty Institute will include:
- NCAI Policy Research Center - The NCAI Policy Research Center is a national tribal research center that leads, conducts, and translates high-quality policy research and data to improve outcomes for Indian Country.
Leadership Development and Tribal Programs - NCAI will soon be announcing two new, interconnected initiatives to support tribal leaders in developing strategic approaches to their leadership roles and media relations. NCAI will also continue its existing programming, including: the NCAI Youth Commission, Tribal Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative, supporting the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) Intertribal Technical Assistance Working Group (ITWG) and providing technical assistance to Tribal Nations on VAWA, providing Victim Services microgrants, and more.
- Civic Engagement - Civic Engagement includes long-standing initiatives such as Native Vote, Indian Country Counts census work, and Ending the Era of Harmful “Indian” Mascots.
“New initiatives like the Sovereignty Institute are a result of building a grounded yet forward-thinking plan for NCAI, informed by the priorities of tribal leaders representing every corner of Indian Country. We have many exciting things planned this year and we look forward to doing our part to help shape tribal governance in the 21st Century and to chart a new and prosperous path forward for Native peoples,” said President Sharp.
More information about NCAI’s new initiatives within the Sovereignty Institute will be released at a later date. NCAI’s 2022 Mid-Year Conference & Marketplace is set to take place June 12-16, in Anchorage, Alaska.
About the National Congress of American Indians
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians 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 general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org. Subscribe to our News RSS