NCAI Policy Research Center’s 13th Annual Tribal Leader Scholar Forum Call for Proposals

The NCAI Policy Research Center’s 13th Annual Tribal Leader Scholar Forum Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN! The Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum provides an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, community members, and others to present their findings to tribal leaders, policymakers, and tribal members during NCAI’s Mid Year Conference.

Our theme for the 2018 Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum is Lighting the Way: New Paths from Research to Policy. This theme reflects the desire to shed light on future directions for policy in a way that is deeply informed by research and data in the context of tribal cultures and values. The Forum will take place on June 5, 2018 in Kansas City, MO.

CLICK HERE for the Call for Proposals and Sample Submission Template.

NCAI President Brian Cladoosby: Meeting Hate with a Call to Action

Bowman Performance Consulting supports a peaceful, inclusive, empowered, and diverse existence on Mother Earth. Enjoy this call to action by NCAI President Brian Cladoosby: Meeting Hate with a Call to Action.


August 24, 2017


We are now 12 days removed from the appalling and tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and I am still struggling to process what transpired there and what it means for me as a Native person, an American, and a national leader representing a community of color in one of the most diverse countries on earth. I, too, am still coming to grips with the distressing response of our nation’s highest public official and others in government and the media, who morally equate the hatred and aggression of those bent on dividing our country with those who choose to stand against them in order to protect the core values of love, tolerance, community, and mutual respect by which most Americans live their lives.

Recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere remind us of just how fragile the fabric that holds this country together has become. The political rhetoric that has come to infest our public discourse in recent years has emboldened the forces of racism and division to crawl from beneath the rocks under which they have long hid to proudly reassert their bigoted view of the world, their fellow man, what it means to be an American, and what makes this country great.

This groundswell of bigotry that all Americans observe daily on their TVs and smart phones – and that people of color personally experience – takes many forms. Intolerant attitudes. Hurtful words. And, increasingly, devastating violence. I think about the crime of hate perpetrated against Heather Heyer, who lost her life when she was crushed by a vehicle driven by a white supremacist in the hometown of Thomas Jefferson. I also think about the crime of hate perpetrated against Quinault Indian Nation member Jimmy Smith-Kramer, an innocent young father of two who recently lost his life in Washington state in the same fashion at the hands of a driver who reportedly screamed racial slurs and war whoops during the attack.

Jimmy Smith-Kramer’s story reminds us all that crimes of hate against people of color simply because they are people of color is not, nor ever has been, simply a “whites versus blacks” issue. Every one of the tribal nations across this country can lay painful claim to tribal histories strewn with various incidents of hate crimes against their ancestors for no other reason than they were Indigenous to the land, different than, or just in the way. And virtually every citizen of those nations today can lay claim to a family member or friend who has personally been the victim of race-based violence.

That, ultimately, is what the battle over the monuments of hate like the one in Charlottesville is all about – making this deplorable treatment of all peoples of color a thing of the past, once and for all. It’s about what we value as a nation, today, and what values will guide us in creating an America rooted first and foremost in equality. An America where your lot in life and how you are viewed and treated by your fellow Americans are not determined by the color of your skin, your faith, your dress, or your sexual orientation.

Having served as Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community for three decades and President of the National Congress of American Indians for the past four years has taught me that creating this America depends on one thing and one thing only: respect. Respect for one another, our differences, and the invaluable contributions we all make as Americans – including the First Americans, the tribal nations to which we belong, and the tribal governments that daily serve and strengthen tribal and surrounding communities.

But respect is not happenstance. It cannot be left to fate or wishful thinking. It is borne only of a genuine commitment and sustained action to learn from one another, to learn about and understand one another – especially those who may look, worship, and love different than you.

The long, unending process of building that respect must take place in our schools, where the complex history of America – and the histories of all of those peoples who compose it – must be taught in an inclusive, culturally appropriate, and factually accurate fashion. The teaching of that complex history, for one, must convey the fact that America, despite its long-held fables, was not “discovered” by white men. It was built around hundreds upon hundreds of long thriving tribal societies that continue to exercise their inherent rights as sovereign governments today, persevering in the face of centuries of mistreatment, marginalization, and genocide.

Building that respect also takes place at our family dinner tables, at our workplaces, on our streets, in our grocery store check-out lines, and on social media. Every such interaction is an opportunity to teach and to learn, to choose unity and tolerance over division and intolerance. And we must seize on every such opportunity.

Building that respect also takes place in the halls of Congress, the offices of the White House, the chambers of state legislatures, and the meeting rooms of county and municipal governments. We call on all elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels: back up your encouraging rhetoric with bold, forward-thinking laws and policies designed to hold the forces of racism and division fully accountable for their crimes against humanity and community. Send an unequivocal message that their values are not this country’s values. And fervently and consistently enforce those laws and policies without exception.

In sum, building that respect demands the active involvement of each and every one of us. We all have an obligation to act in every facet of our personal and professional lives to build our understanding of and respect for all of our fellow Americans, and to call out and condemn those – even friends, family members, and close colleagues – who out of ignorance, fear, or self-interest have chosen that other, darker path. If the last two weeks have taught us anything, it is that indifference and inaction serve as a breeding ground for the divisions we see ripping at the fabric of this great country. We should never forget the past, for it informs who we are and should be today. But we must own the future that we seek to create for our children, our grandchildren, our American brothers and sisters, and our generations yet to come by starting today. We each must do our part to heal our nation so that we can move forward as a nation. We have no more time to waste. There are no excuses for further indecision. The time to act is now.

Academic Partnerships and Traditional Teachings are the Keys to Success

Tribal policy and governance leaders Shannon Holsey and Joe Garcia valuing BPC’s sovereignty in Indigenous policy and evaluation studies. Academic partnerships, government advocacy and traditional teachings are the keys to success!
Pictured left to right: Shannon Holsey (Tribal President, Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe of WI), Nicole Bowman (President, BPC), and Joe Garcia (Southwest Area Vice President, NCAI)

The excitement is building…

#BPC is getting excited to present with Indigenous scholars at the #NCAI Tribal/Scholar forum 6/12/17 at the #MoheganSun in CT! As we prepare let us reflect and consider who’s voices are heard/privileged and also missing/silent as we do our academic work.

Considerations for “Scientific” Research & Evaluation … 

When you research/evaluate the values, beliefs, assumptions, perspectives, and prejudices

the researcher/evaluator brings to the scientific project, it has an immediate influence and

powerful impact upon the project staff, project participants, and the project itself.

Consider how the researcher/evaluator determines many things before, during, and after the project, including the following list (this is not an exhaustive list):

 who is heard

(and who is voiceless or silenced);

what is focused on

(and what is not included);

the design and method used

(or not used);

the data identified and collected

(or missed and even ignored);

who interprets and what gets interpreted

(or is excluded from the interpretation);

how interpretations are made

(or are not made or are not ever checked for validity and accuracy with community members);

 whose interpretations are valued as scientific and educational knowledge

(or whose are not valued, not present, and/or are not even considered “real” data);

 what conclusions are drawn

(or are not drawn or are not member checked for accuracy);

 how the conclusions are presented or published

(or not presented in the literature or are presented without consent);

who has access and control over the data once the study is done

(or who is powerless to access, control, and own their community’s evaluation data);

and based on evaluation data what policies, programs, and other initiatives continue to get funded

(or not funded, discontinued as programs, or who have policies that are ill-informed).

All of these research/evaluation decisions have a profound and direct impact on the long-term struggles, challenges, and unsolved issues that communities and people face.

Will you be part of the solution to solve these long-standing issues that communities face?

Do you recognize that you are privileged and different in many ways than the communities you work with?  How do you recognize that privilege and move beyond that to take concrete steps to empower and authentically include those often disempowered?

How might that make a difference in your life and in other’s lives?

With culturally and contextually responsive strategies, you can build consideration into projects.

Are you responsible and prepared to do this?

(Adapted by N. Bowman in 2015 from the Howard University Evaluation Training Institute, 2003)

Please do not reprint without permission from Nicole Bowman at

NCAI’s Mid Year Conference: Building Tribal-State Relations to Advance Critical Tribal Priorities

Partnership for Tribal Governance Leads Session on Building Tribal-State Relations at NCAI’s Upcoming Mid Year Conference
NCAI’s Partnership for Tribal Governance (PTG) invites you to join us for NCAI’s upcoming Mid Year Conference in Connecticut (June 12-15) and attend an informative and timely breakout session on building tribal-state relationships in order to advance critical tribal priorities.

Session Overview:

In this fluid political environment, forging strong and sustainable tribal-state relationships that strengthen tribal sovereignty and advance tribal priorities is more important than ever. This collaborative session between NCAI and the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators (NCNASL) will tackle critical and timely issues requiring informed, tactical advocacy with state governments and their elected leadership, including expanding dental health aide therapy and implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act regulations (among other topics). Tribal leaders and NCNASL representatives also will discuss how to advance pro-tribal policies at the state level through sustained relationship building and maintenance.

To view the conference agenda, please click here.

To register for the conference, please click here.

NCAI 2017 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace

Date: Jun 12, 2017 – Jun 15, 2017

Where: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

View Agenda >>

Register Now >>

About the Event:

2017 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace
Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, CT 06382
June 12 – 15, 2017

To register for the 2017 Mid Year Conference, please fill out the early bird registration form and submit with your payment postmarked by May 12, 2017 to receive the early bird rate. Online registration is now available!

Early Bird Rates:
Member – $375
Non-Member – $425
Youth – $175

Standard/Onsite Rates: (After May 12, 2017)
Member – $475
Non-Member – $525
Youth – $250

NCAI Releases New Report on Indian Country Infrastructure Needs

NCAI Releases New Report Detailing Indian Country’s Unmet Infrastructure Needs

To help ensure that tribal nations are at the table for the upcoming national policy conversation about infrastructure investment, NCAI recently released the report “Tribal Infrastructure: Investing in Indian Country for a Stronger America.”

This initial report presents a data-supported sampling of the nature and gravity of the unmet infrastructure needs that Indian Country currently faces, and the vast economic promise that tribal nations can unlock when properly resourced and properly equipped with the right instruments for self-determined, effective action. It is intended to serve as foundational context for the emerging dialogue between tribal nations and the new Administration and Congress about how best to revitalize and empower the infrastructure of Indian Country and the nation as a whole, and the seminal role that tribal nations can and should play as primary decision-making partners in this process.


To read the report, please click here.

NCAI Contact Information: Gwen Salt, Policy

TIPS FOR RESEARCHERS: Strengthening Research that Benefits Native Youth

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth deserve our very best. Although the phrase Native youth may hold different meanings for different audiences, use of the phrase here is meant to indicate AI/AN children and youth from the prenatal period to the age of twenty-four. Youth are a large and growing sector of AI/AN communities, making up 42 percent of the AI/AN population nationally and over 50 percent of the AI/AN population in some states like South Dakota. They are also growing up in contexts that are culturally, economically, environmentally, and technologically different from that of their parents and grandparents. Their notions of health, success, and identity are often distinct from those of other generations.

*Read the rest of the NCAI report here.

2018 Indian Country Budget

Since the 1970s with the passage of federal policies reinforcing Indian self-determination and self-government, tribal leaders have dramatically improved conditions throughout Indian Country in terms of health, education, entrepreneurship, income, and numerous aspects of physical infrastructure and human capital. However, considerable potential for economic growth remains because much of the economic and infrastructure improvement has stalled since 2010 (Akee and Taylor, 2014 and HUD 2017). Fulfilling the federal trust responsibility is essential to realizing the economic potential of Indian Country. This FY 2018 Tribal Budget Request presents numerous opportunities for public investment in Indian Country by our partners in Congress and the Administration.

*Read more from NCAI.

Download the entire FY 2018 document (PDF 3.3 MB)

Submit your Tribal Leader Scholar Forum Proposal by Feb. 17th!

Read the alert from NCAI!

At the Forum, we foster the open exchange of ideas and collaborative learning. We challenge ourselves, our presenters, and our participants to think beyond the presenter podium to more interactive working spaces — honoring the collective knowledge and memory contained in each organized breakout session.

We are soliciting three types of proposals: 1) Insight Proposals, 2) Concept Proposals, and 3) Poster Proposals.

  • Insight Proposal: Proposals feature insights from a research study, partnership, program or community initiative, or policy effort that has significance to the Forum theme. Selected proposals will be grouped as part of a panel by the NCAI reviewers.
  • Concept Proposal: Beyond soliciting traditional conference proposals, we are also soliciting brief concept papers that raise provocative ideas for community development and lay culture at the foundation. These presentations can propose a new model of federal funding, a new method for building data infrastructure, or a new policy advocacy approach, among others.
  • Poster Proposals: Proposals can highlight completed or ongoing research with significance to the Forum theme. This format is most suitable for students, colleges and universities, and community programs to share information with tribal leaders and citizens on their efforts and programs.

All proposals should be submitted to by Friday, February 17th at 5:00pm (Eastern).

To access our Proposal Template, please visit: