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Native Voices

A major goal of the “Rebuilding Native Nations” distance-learning course series is to provide students the opportunity to learn about Native nation building “from the horse’s mouth” – from those who are doing nation building, and from those who are working on the ground in Native communities to better understand what nation building is and what it requires. In that vein, NNI has interviewed more than 125 Native leaders, key decision-makers and scholars to date, making this course series among the most ambitious oral history projects on Native nation sovereignty, governance and leadership ever undertaken.

For example, the introductory course “Introduction to Native Nation Building” features more than three dozen Native leaders and scholars offering their firsthand perspectives on the importance of and the challenges inherent in Native nation rebuilding – as well as the innovative solutions that Native nations are crafting to meet those challenges. Below is a selection of those who share their firsthand perspectives on nation building, governance and leadership in the introductory course:

John “Rocky” Barrett, Chairman, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Karen Diver, Chairwoman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Frank Ettawageshik, Former Chairman, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Keller George, Wolf Clan Representative, Oneida Nation Council
David Gipp, President, United Tribes Technical College
Suzan Harjo, President and Executive Director, The Morning Star Institute
Clarence Louie, Chief, Osoyoos Indian Band
Ivan Makil, Former President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Wilma Mankiller (1945-2010), Former Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation
Phillip Martin (1928-2010), Former Chairman, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Antone Minthorn, Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla
Michael Mitchell, Grand Chief, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
Regis Pecos, Former Governor, Pueblo de Cochiti
Anthony Pico, Former Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
Sophie Pierre, Former Chief, Ktunaxa Nation
Roy Sampsel, Former Executive Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman, White Earth Band of Ojibwe
David Wilkins, Professor of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota