Dr. Jolene Bowman Named President of NIEA

Dr. Jolene Bowman, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Vice President and WIEA Board Member to be sworn-in as NIEA President
Swearing in to take place on Saturday, October 7th at 48th Annual National Indian Education Association Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL – After waiting nearly a year to take her seat as the board president of the National Indian Education Association, Dr. Jolene Bowman will officially take the reigns this afternoon when she is sworn-in at the organization’s 48th Annual Convention & Trade Show at the Caribe Royal Orlando Hotel and Convention Center.

Dr. Bowman brings with her a strong presence and solid understanding of the issues facing American Indian students and communities. Hailing from the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians of Wisconsin, where she serves as the tribe’s governing board Vice President, Bowman has long been a proponent of widening the educational opportunities of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

“I plan to use my new position to advocate for Indian education and Native students by getting in the know about the particular subject or issue students may be experiencing,” said Bowman. “I not only want to work through those challenges but also celebrate the accomplishments of our people.”

Bowman was elected president at last year’s NIEA convention held in Reno, NV. and has spent the last year building momentum for her new post through her work as both secretary for the organization and board member of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association.

WIEA president Brian Jackson says he’s excited to see the impact Bowman will have on Indian education in Wisconsin and across the nation.

“I’m confident Dr. Bowman will continue NIEA’s efforts to increase educational opportunities for Native students everywhere,” said Jackson. “Women are the backbone of our Native communities. She has a strong sense of identity and has demonstrated her ability to lead through her previous successes working in tribal communities,” added Jackson, who traveled to Orlando in support of Bowman and Wisconsin Indian education.

One of Bowman’s first orders of business as NIEA president will be to address the growing funding needs of Indian education at the federal level.

“NIEA is the only organization that is exclusively working on behalf of native students to ensure that our trust responsibility is being upheld,” said Bowman, referring to the federal government’s treaty and trust responsibility to American Indian tribes.

“In the current context, Indian education was under attack in the last (federal) budget and NIEA will continue to work diligently to ensure our Native schools and Native student populations are funded,” Bowman added.

Bowman will serve a one (1) year term as board president, which will run concurrent to her other obligations in Wisconsin.

The 48th annual NIEA Convention & Tradeshow runs October 4 – 7, 2017, in Orlando, FL.

BPC Partners with Northwest Area Foundation & Rainbow Research on National Workforce Development Project

Shawano, WI May 19, 2017 Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) has been hired to work as an evaluation and technical assistance subject matter expert to work on a new workforce development initiative funded by the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF).  The NWAF “Reservation-based Work Opportunity Initiative” is part of the “Work Opportunity” portfolio of NWAF to provide funding and support to Native-led grantees for the focus areas of:

  1. Promising career pathway programs that link training to available jobs.
  2. Capacity building efforts to increase the effectiveness of workforce organizations and their leaders.
  3. “Building the field” activities that lead to a larger and more networked field of stakeholders invested in reservation-based workforce efforts.

BPC’s partnership with Rainbow Research (RR) will support the efforts of the grantees who will work to increase workforce development skills and capacities of their organizations; strengthening systemic supports with non-Tribal workforce partners; and increasing the participation, knowledge, and skills of Tribal workforce participants.   This will result in a Native-led grantee portfolio that documents Tribal workforce development best practices, best strategies for program effectiveness, and a greater understanding and capacity of local Tribal and non-Tribal workforce system partners to increase reservation-based work opportunities.

BPC will work with RR as an Indigenous evaluation and multi-jurisdictional workforce education systems subject matter expert.  BPC will provide support to needs assessments, grantee training and technical assistance, curriculum development and implementation, and design of a culturally responsive Indigenous evaluation study.  BPC will also provide technical feedback to grantees on their evaluation and data collection instruments and support the capacity, knowledge, and skill building of RR and NWAF to strongly support the efforts of Native-led grantees from Reservation or urban workforce contexts. Bowman Performance Consulting has contributed over two decades of culturally responsive and multi-jurisdictional evaluation, research, training and technical assistance.  Their living mission and motto is “working WITH people and not ON them.” If you would like more information about this project, please contact BPC at 715-526-9240 or by email sarah@bpcwi.com.


NIEA Statement on the White House Budget Blueprint

Washington, D.C.– The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) issues the following analysis regarding the White House’s Budget Blueprint, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” released today:

Today’s budget outline proposes a significant cut to funding for domestic discretionary programs by $54 billion for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18), including a 13% reduction in the Department of Education (ED) budget, while increasing spending on the military by the same amount. While important educational programs would see substantial reductions, the Department of Defense would see a 10% increase.

The proposed cuts concern NIEA: these programs positively impact Native students. When these cuts are negotiated by Congress, we are concerned that Native education programs are at risk of being reduced.

The 13% cut to the ED would lead to a $9 billion overall cut in funding for FY 2018. The Blueprint provides a look at the programs that may face the steepest cuts, important notes on the Blueprint are below:

  • The following Native education programs are not specifically identified for cuts: the Indian Education Formula Grants (Formerly Title VII and now Title VI), the Alaska Native Educational Equity Support and Assistance Act, and the Native Hawaiian Education Act.
  • $9 billion in cuts to the ED come from programs that are not specifically designed to serve Native students but do impact their education, particularly Native students who attend public schools. Teacher professional development programs see a $2.4 billion reduction, after-school programs see a $1.2 billion cut, and programs that offer higher education assistance for students are reduced by $4.6 billion. These reductions will limit opportunities for Native students if enacted into law.
  • Funding for public and private school choice would increase by $1.4 billion. NIEA has serious concerns about the $250 million in funding for a private school choice program and $1 billion in funding for portability, which risks undermining schools with high concentrations of low-income students. NIEA membership has voiced concerns with programs that support private school choice as recently as this past October, NIEA will be monitoring this proposal closely to ensure the needs of Native students are represented.
  • One part of the Impact Aid Program, Support Payments for Federal Property, was eliminated. This funding of the Program, $66 million FY 16, does not encompass the part of Impact Aid that most directly serve Native communities: the Indian Lands Program is not identified to be cut in this Blueprint. NIEA is nonetheless concerned, Impact Aid in its entirety remains a critical program for Native students and we continue to strongly support fully funding the Program.
  • Head Start is not mentioned at all in this budget outline. NIEA is monitoring funding for this program closely based on concerns voiced over the last few months.

NIEA remains hopeful that the administration will continue to avoid cuts to Native programs in the final FY 2018 Budget which is set to come out in late April or May. We will continue to work with our allies on both sides of the aisle in support of programs that support Native students.

The Department of Interior would also see a $1.5 billion reduction, a 12% cut to their budget, but the Bureau of Indian Education is not slated for reductions. Interior recommitted itself to Indian Country:

  • Tribal sovereignty and the Nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indian and Alaska Natives were identified as priorities for the Department of the Interior. Ensuring self-determination and providing support to tribal governments were acknowledged as responsibilities of the Department.

For a full copy of the entire budget outline, please click here.

To see NIEA’s FY 18 Budget Priorities, please click here.


Native education advocates are encouraged to contact their representatives or senator to express support for full funding of Native education programs.

To take action now, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative. They will ask you for your zip code and then connect you. When they do, you may use the following talking points as a guide:

  • I live in _____ and support Native students and Native education. Please tell the Representative that I strongly support full funding for the  [Indian Education Formula Funding, or the Alaska Native Educational Equity Support and Assistance Act, or the Native Hawaiian Education Act]. In my school this critical funding helps serve Native students and it’s important that the program gets the funding we need.
  • I also oppose the President’s proposal to fund private schools through the federal budget. Native students need good public schools, not vouchers which will enable taxpayer money to support private schools. Please tell the Representative to oppose funding for private school choice, also known as vouchers.

NIEA Statement on Revised ESSA State Template

Washington, D.C.– Yatibaey Evans, the President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) issued the following statement today regarding the rollback of the stakeholder engagement guidelines in the new application for states to use in developing their accountability plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


“NIEA is greatly disappointed that one of the key provisions of ESSA, community and parent engagement in school plans, has been eliminated from the template the Department of Education has suggested states use. With over 90% of Native students attending public schools, it is vital that Native voices are heard in the public school system.


This conspicuous absence not only risks undermining tribal leaders and Native communities in the development of state plans, but also risks destabilizing the efforts of states such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alaska who have been diligently working to ensure that all are at the table.


NIEA will redouble our efforts to work with states with steadfast commitment to the language and intent of ESSA, which require timely and meaningful tribal consultation in state plans and the local consultation required of school districts.


We appreciate those states who have showed leadership and look forward to working with tribal leaders and Native communities on behalf of Native students in states across the country to make sure Native voices are at the table when decisions are made.”


For immediate assistance or questions, please contact Matt deFerranti, Legislative Director, at (202) 544-7290 or via email at mdeferranti@niea.org.

Shakopee Tribe Donates $100,000 to “Reclaiming Native Truth”!

Longmont, Colorado (February 9, 2017) – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) announced today a $100,000 donation to the Reclaiming Native Truth project that is co-managed by First Nations Development Institute and Echo Hawk Consulting, both based in Colorado. The gift is part of a package of new SMSC donations totaling more than $4 million for Native American causes in several states.

Reclaiming Native Truth is a groundbreaking project that will consolidate and build upon previous research efforts in order to create a long-term, Native-led movement that will positively transform the popular image of and narrative about Native Americans. From 2016-2018, the project team is working with an advisory committee of Native leaders, stakeholders, and racial equity experts and advocates to understand the underlying reasons for society’s negative and inaccurate perceptions of Native Americans. Based on this improved understanding, the project will have the tools necessary to build consensus around tackling this long-standing problem. It is expected that the project will lead to the creation of a national campaign to achieve greater awareness, respect and equality for Native peoples.

“Launching an unprecedented national project like Reclaiming Native Truth requires farsighted dedication from planners and funders. The SMSC’s donation shows a long-term commitment to improving the lives of Native Americans,” said Michael Roberts, co-director of Reclaiming Native Truth and president and CEO of First Nations Development Institute.

“There are so many needs across Indian Country, and this new financial support will go a long way toward improving the lives of many people, especially children and future generations,” said SMSC Chairman Charles R. Vig.

The SMSC has donated approximately $350 million to organizations and causes since 1992.

Today’s donation to the Reclaiming Native Truth project was made less than one month after making a $200,000 gift to fund living allowances for AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working to improve Native nutrition, as part of the SMSC’s $5 million Seeds of Native Health campaign. It was the first time in VISTA’s history in which a tribe provided funding to deploy VISTA members nationally. In an editorial lauding the SMSC’s Seeds of Native Health campaign, the Star Tribune – Minnesota’s largest news outlet – called the tribe a “philanthropic force.”

Reclaiming Native Truth is co-directed by Crystal Echo Hawk, president and CEO of Echo Hawk Consulting.

Learn more about the Shakopee Tribe 

First Junk Food Tax in the Country – Navajo Nation Leading the Way!

LONGMONT, Colorado (February 28, 2017) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today a unique funding collaborative formed to support the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance (DCAA) in its efforts to implement healthy foods legislation passed by the Navajo Nation. In 2014, the Navajo Nation passed two new and innovative policies to encourage healthy living and lifestyles on the Navajo Nation:

→Navajo Nation Council Resolution CJA-05-14 removed the Navajo Nation 5% sales tax on healthy foods sold on the Navajo reservation, including fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, water, nuts, nut butters, and seeds, and;

→The Healthy Diné Nation Act (HDNA) of 2014 authorized an additional 2% sales tax on unhealthy foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in all retail locations on the Navajo Nation, the first junk food tax in the United States.

Launched with a leading gift from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the funding collaborative will support DCAA with a combined gift of $262,000. This includes funding from:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – $100,000
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) under its national Seeds of Native Health campaign – $80,000
  • The Christensen Fund – $75,000
  • Anonymous donor – $7,000

“To improve Native Americans’ dietary health, tribal communities must take control of their own destinies.  We are pleased to have our Seeds of Native Health campaign work with First Nations and other funders to support the Navajo Nation’s groundbreaking policies to better the health of their people.”  – SMSC Chairman Charles R. Vig –

Click here to read entire press release.

BPC Mentioned in Insight Magazine!

insight coverInsight Magazine mentions Bowman Performance Consulting in the November 2015 edition.

Bowman Performance Consulting, Shawano, will provide technical support to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Tribal Labor Advisory Committee. BPC will work with the Lac du Flambeau Tribe on this seven-month project. This project is to work on the Statewide Native American Labor Database, which will work closely with the 11 tribes of Wisconsin on capacity to maintain information and creation of a statewide labor database.

*View the article here!

Bowman Performance Consulting will be Working with IMPAQ


Date:  8/5/14

Contact:  Nicole Bowman, 715-526-9240, nicky@bpcwi.com

Local scientific Native American firm contracted to complete a Congressional Study for the US Department of Agriculture for regarding Policy/Programming Changes for the US Food & Nutrition Service Department

Bowman Performance Consulting and IMPAQ to establish requirements and regulatory changes necessary for Tribal Administration of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs. Final Report will be provided and report to US Congress in fall 2015 by BPC and IMPAQ.

Green Bay, WI – Nicole Bowman of Bowman Performance Consulting will be working with IMPAQ as a co-PI (Primary Investigator). They will be using a formal tribal consultation process (FORMAL Tribal Consultation Policy for USDA FNS is here:  http://www.usda.gov/documents/ConsultationPlan.pdf or here:  http://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/departmental-regulation-1350-002 ) to determine the interest and feasibility of tribal governments to administer  Federal nutrition assistance programs (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in lieu of State agencies or other administrative entities. There are 15 FNS nutrition programs administered by FNS. Currently states administer several of these programs with varying levels of shared responsibility with tribal organizations or other community based organizations.  Results of the study will be reviewed by USDA Undersecretary Concannon  and the Office of Tribal Regulations as part of process with the final study being submitted as a formal report to the US Congress.  Information from the study will inform future policy, operations, and administrative decisions regarding FNS nutrition programs.

Bowman says, “I believe in using a Community Based Research Approach (CBPR) to collaboratively work with tribal leaders and the USDA. In addition to CBPR the study’s methods will be responsive and inclusive of the unique tribal cultures, governmental infrastructures, and geographic contexts (Reservation, urban areas) that FNS programs are implemented in.  This multijurisdictional and Indigenous centered approach is central to bringing Tribal and non-Tribal governments, agencies, and staff together so that the information collected is meaningful and useful to a wide group of stakeholders. We’ll discover if current legislation is adequate or needs to change to accommodate shifts in administrative focus. Examination of existing nutrition program guidance, regulations, manuals, reports, and other relevant documents will show us where infrastructure needs to be improved. During this project we’ll collaboratively develop data collection instruments that will ensure the long-term success of tribal administration of Federal nutrition assistance. Getting involved at the ‘ground floor’ of a project like this gives me a lot of satisfaction. I get to see it go from an idea to reality. This will be fun!”

About the Project:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will be working with Bowman Performance Consulting and IMPAQ to determine the feasibility of tribal administration of Federal nutrition assistance programs, in response to Section 4004(b)(2) in the Agriculture Act of 2014. This study will examine the requirements of administering the federal nutrition assistance programs, by examining the services, functions, and activities associated with program administration and assessing the capabilities of tribes to administer all or portions of the programs.


IMPAQ is a premier woman-owned public policy organization that has an exemplary track record of managing large Federal contracts, conducting FNS feasibility studies, and executing and managing complex projects with very tight timelines. Dr. Steven Garasky, Vice President of Human Services Research and proposed Project Director (PD), has over 25 years of project management experience. While at IMPAQ, he has led as either prime contract or subcontract PD several similar studies for FNS. These FNS projects include SNAP feasibility, research, quality control, and point of sale

About Bowman

Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) is a professional consulting and scientific research & evaluation company.  BPC provides services to a national clientele from the public, private, non-profit and tribal sectors.  BPC gathers measurable and meaningful data from clients and their stakeholders/customers so that individuals, programs, and organizations can use the data, improve performance, and build capacity in order to function more efficiently and effectively for the short and long-term.

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More information and free resource materials available at www.bpcwi.com

Phone: 715-526-9240    Email: info@bpcwi.com  Twitter:  @NBPC1

BPC Named Outstanding Small Business

nb award 2

Bowman Performance Consulting Wins 2014 Governor’s Marketplace Award

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) collected nominations for the 2014 Marketplace Governor’s Awards. Bowman Performance Consulting of Shawano, Wisconsin was recognized as an Outstanding Small Size Business at the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development. Nicole Bowman accepted the award on October 23, 2014 at the Potawatomi Expo Center in Milwaukee during Marketplace 2014. The Marketplace conference was a sold out event with over 600 registered attendees.

The WEDC says, “The Outstanding Business Award recognizes a State Certified Business Enterprise that has demonstrated the capacity to grow over the past five years with plans to continue expansion in the future. Judges will consider revenue growth, employment growth, the company’s strategy for pursuing new opportunities, ability to overcome challenges, and past investments in employee development, business systems, marketing, equipment and other company assets.”

Nicole Bowman is quoted, “I am happy to accept this Outstanding Small Business Award on behalf of Bowman Performance Consulting. I’m just the face of BPC, however. We all work hard to make BPC what it is today. I’d like to thank my vendors who provide legal, consulting, and marketing services as well as my professional services staff who enable me to focus on doing what I do best. I need to thank my staff and subcontractors as well as my clients. A special thank you goes to clients of BPC who have allowed us to work with them, not on them, and with whom we’ve built a strong history that has allowed us to look forward to the future. BPC will continue to expand, overcome challenges, and assist clients in improving performance and building capacity.”

About Bowman nb award on stage

Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) is a professional consulting and scientific research & evaluation company.  BPC provides services to a national clientele from the public, private, non-profit and tribal sectors.  BPC gathers measurable and meaningful data from clients and their stakeholders/customers so that individuals, programs, and organizations can use the data, improve performance, and build capacity in order to function more efficiently and effectively for the short and long-term.

About the Award and Marketplace

The Marketplace 2014 awards are open to Wisconsin-based companies that have been certified as MBE, WBE or DVB businesses by the State of Wisconsin. More about the award at http://inwisconsin.com/press_releases/marketplace-2014-awards/. Milwaukee Business Journal article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2014/10/24/eight-wisconsin-companies-earn-awards-from-state.html.

In Wisconsin says, “Marketplace 2014 is the premier business capacity building conference of the year for minority, women and veteran business entrepreneurs looking to do business with state, federal and local agencies as well as corporations. For more than 30 years, the conference has provided opportunities for businesses to meet with potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources and network with other businesses.”

Check Out Upcoming Tribal Consultations on Administering Nutrition Programs!

Special September 2014 Tribal Consultation to Discuss Possible Nutrition Assistance Program Administration Changes

IMPAQ International, LLC (IMPAQ) and partners Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) and WRMA (collectively, the IMPAQ team) have been asked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to work with tribal nations and their leadership to determine the feasibility and interest of tribal nation administration of federal nutrition assistance programs, in lieu of state agencies or other administrative entities administering USDA FNS programs. This important study will result in a report to the U.S. Congress in fall of 2015 and may ultimately result in changes in the administration of some nutrition assistance programs based on guidance from tribal leaders. The first part of this process — tribal consultations — is be completed by October 2014.  The IMPAQ team will consult with tribal nations to determine the extent of tribal interest in administering USDA FNS programs, with specific focus on 1) the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 2) the National School Lunch Program, 3) School Breakfast Program, 4) the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and 5) the Summer Food Service Program. The consultations will enable the IMPAQ team to collaboratively design methods for obtaining input from tribal government or tribal nation leaders about their administration capacity and factors important to tribal nations.

Participation in the study by tribal governments or tribal nations also benefits the community by:

  1. Enabling guidance and feedback on project design and data-collection tools
  2. Enabling tribal nations to voice interest in administering specific programs
  3. Provide insight on how programs can work effectively in tribal communities

The IMPAQ team invites you to participate in the first of a series of formal tribal consultations with tribal nations and their leadership on any of the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014; 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
  • Monday, September 22, 2014; 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT

To participate in either consultation, please register at: https://www.research.net/s/TribalConsultation2014