A New Era for Indian Country: National Congress of American Indians Announces Establishment of Sovereignty Institute

Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) announced the formation of a new branch within its organization: the NCAI Sovereignty Institute, aimed at strengthening and supporting tribal governance in Indian Country.

Sovereignty Institute will help develop usable data and resources to support tribal self-reliance, NCAI says Press release. The Sovereignty Institute will include NCAI’s Center for Policy Research, Leadership Development and Tribal Programs, and Civic Engagement.

“New initiatives like the Sovereignty Institute are the result of developing a grounded yet forward-thinking plan for NCAI, informed by the priorities of tribal leaders representing all corners of Indian Country,” said the president of the NCAI. NCAI, Fawn Sharp, in a statement. “We have many exciting things planned this year and look forward to doing our part to help shape tribal governance in the 21st century and chart a prosperous new path for Indigenous peoples.”

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Also today, the group announced the theme for its mid-year conference, to be held this summer in Anchorage, Alaska: Thinking Beyond Self-Determination.

Sharp said the theme “sets the stage” to usher in a new era of proactive strategy, advocacy and governance across Indian Country.

“The Sovereignty Institute training at NCAI will provide innovative tools and resources to support tribal nations as they strive to define this new era on their own terms,” she said.

To register for this year’s conference or to find out more, visit ncai.org.

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Jenna Kunze
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Jenna Kunze is a reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. His bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine and Anchorage Daily News. In 2020, she was one of 16 American journalists selected by the Pulitzer Center to report on the effects of climate change in the Arctic region of Alaska. Previously, she was a senior reporter at the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based in New York.