Seventeen individuals committed to advancing the self-determination of their Native nations form the fourth cohort of the Bush Foundation’s Native Nation Rebuilders Program.
These five men and 12 women have experience in diverse fields including health care, education, tribal administration, business, cultural resources and community development. They directly serve the people of their nations as educators, lawyers, elected tribal leaders and administrators of a variety of social services programs.
Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce) is vice president at the Bush Foundation and leads its efforts to partner with tribal nations, including the Rebuilders program. He said, “For Native nation-rebuilding to reach its greatest potential, the people must participate with their elected leaders to craft an authentic governance structure. These 17 new Rebuilders share a commitment to such participation—first by their willingness to improve their knowledge about nation-building and second by their efforts to work with elected leaders in their nation’s exercise of its sovereignty. Together with the 50 Rebuilders who came before them, these 17 unique and passionate Native citizens are valuable assets to their nations and can inspire all Native citizens to participate in nation-rebuilding efforts.”
The Rebuilders’ names, tribal affiliations and bios are given below and at BushFoundation.org.
The Rebuilders have gathered today in Prior Lake, Minnesota, for their first meeting, which ends Friday. Four trainings over the two-year program are led by several regional and national partners with expertise in nation-rebuilding, organizing and issues specific to Indian Country, including theNative Nations Institute and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.
A Rebuilder from the new cohort said, “I think that my participation as a Native Nation Rebuilder will provide me with new ideas, a chance to interact with others and new avenues that will make me a more effective leader for my people.”
The Foundation launched the Rebuilders program in support of the elected leaders of the 23 Native nations, who said that partnering with other emerging and existing Native leaders will be crucial to the success of their nations over the long term. Rebuilders make a significant commitment. They agree to participate consistently in ongoing activities throughout the two-year period, to actively share knowledge with peers and with their respective nations’ governments, and to develop and implement nation-rebuilding action plans.