Everything You Need to Know About ILA

Kristen Talbert ILA Program Manager

Kristen Talbert

Indigenous Leadership Academy Program Manager

The application for the Spring 2024 cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) will open on November 17, 2023, and will close on December 15, 2023. Follow along for upcoming blogs, posts, and ILA information at the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI). 

This blog is dedicated to questions that you may have about applying to the ILA. If you are an Indigenous person who wants to be a contributor to your community you should apply to this academy!

When does the application open?

The application will open on Friday, November 17, 2023. You can apply here: 

When does the application close?

The application will close on Friday, December 15, 2023, at 11:59 pm, so be sure to get your application in as soon as possible.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone who lives in the United States and meets the eligibility criteria listed on the application is welcome to apply. Fifty percent of the allotted spaces will be awarded to Arizona residents.

How much does it cost?

The cost for the 10-module program is $1650. Scholarships are available and you are automatically considered for a scholarship upon application to ILA. It is highly recommended that the cost not be a deterrent. 

What do I need to complete the application?

If you’re thinking about applying for the ILA you should update your resume as we will be asking about your recent work history. The apex is to lay the groundwork for a project that you can implement in your community, so have a project in mind because this will be the foundation for all the lessons across the 10 weeks. We want to assess your strengths as a leader so think about other leadership programs you may have participated in. 

Why do I need to have a LinkedIn profile?

You gain a network of over 85 ILA alumni! A LinkedIn profile helps us to see who you are and the work you do in your community; it also creates a wonderful space for you to grow your network. I should note that signing up and using LinkedIn is free of charge. If you would like to use LinkedIn Premium, there is a fee. Don’t have a LinkedIn account? Sign up here.

How is the cohort run?

The cohort will be taught on Zoom and in person (module 10 only) with class materials and participation on Canvas. The first module is on a Saturday and is about six hours in length. The middle two through nine modules are held on Wednesday evenings for three hours. We utilize Canvas and there is about 1.5 hours worth of reading each week. During the modules, we have guest speakers and professionals on that module's topic. The guest speakers are such a great way to give life and context to each module. You will be given the steps to plan out a project that will benefit your community in some way. Module 10 will be held in person with our partner, NCAIED, at the RES 2024 conference.

What will I learn about?

You will learn about the following leadership practices within an Indigenous framework

  • Responsibility
  • Indigenous Knowledge
  • Communicating
  • Tribal Sovereignty
  • Fostering Consensus 

How can I use the tools learned to use in my everyday life? 

Professional tips are provided throughout the course that you can use in your everyday life. In fact, the lessons taught in ILA can be utilized sparingly in your professional life. You can use these personally when making decisions or setting goals. Leaders in a community are not just elected officials. Leaders come in many forms and capacities, in every group. Community and professional relationships are closely linked for Indigenous communities and the ILA brings both perspectives together.

What kind of people am I going to be meeting?

There are people from all walks of life in the cohort. They all share the common goal of wanting to create something meaningful for their community. I enjoy seeing how close they all become throughout the cohort and how much they continue to grow as leaders since completing the academy. 

What is the expected outcome of being a part of ILA?

A new network of people who have like-minded ambitions and goals for their community. These people can provide opportunities or just a sounding board for your projects as well as valuable insight. Upon completion, you will receive a digital badge and certificate through Arizona State University. 

You can learn more about the Indigenous Leadership Academy here: