ILA Blog Posts

*Editor’s Note: This article was a collaboration between AIPI Policy & Research Assistant Sadie Vermillion and ILA Program Coordinator Kristen Talbert. 

Removal of American Indian children from their homes by both public and private entities has long been a commonplace experience in Indian Country. According to the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) website, “The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in 1978 in response to a crisis affecting American Indian and Alaska Native children, families, and tribes. Studies revealed that large numbers of Native children were being separated from their parents, extended families, and communities by state child welfare and private adoption agencies. In fact, research found...

We are getting ready for the second cohort of the ILA program! Please follow us for updates on application information. 

My next blog post deadline was coming soon… I could not for the life of me think of a proper topic. Graduation? Leadership? Business? I went for a walk where I do my best thinking, and inspiration struck! May is Get Caught Reading month which highlights the opportunity to raise awareness of the advantages of indulging in literature. I thought, what better way to feature the advantages of literature than to tap into the minds of the staff at the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI). I admire and respect the...

Saturday, March 26, 2022, marked the closing of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) first-ever Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). A bittersweet conclusion to a historic inaugural program, the cessation of ILA will leave a gap in AIPI’s weekly activities and those of us at AIPI will eagerly welcome the next cohort coming in the Fall of 2022. Although observing the completion of such a vigorous and successful program is a difficult task, there is now time for reflection on lived experiences and observations, which will in turn allow for continuous growth and advancement in what is a prominent Indigenous leadership program, now and in the future. As those of us...

Saturday, March 26, 2022, marked the closing of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) first-ever Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). A bittersweet conclusion to a historic inaugural program, the cessation of ILA will leave a gap in AIPI’s weekly activities and those of us at AIPI will eagerly welcome the next cohort coming in the Fall of 2022. 

Although observing the completion of such a vigorous and successful program is a difficult task, there is now time for reflection on lived experiences and observations, which will in turn allow for continuous growth and advancement in what is a prominent Indigenous leadership program, now and in the future.

Throughout the course of...

We have successfully completed our first cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA)!  We will share more about this exciting experience in the coming weeks! Follow along with AIPI for upcoming blogs, posts and everything else ILA.  

We are so appreciative of all our guest speakers for modules six through nine! These experts in their respective fields imparted their knowledge, shared their insights, and gave their time to the ILA. You can read more about each of our talented guest speakers below. 

Module 6: Communicating Your Story and Exhibiting Professional Etiquette; 

Jason Coochwytewa (Isleta Pueblo/Hopi) is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of expert knowledge in the marketing, communications,...

On the winter evening of February 25, 2022, Indigenous leaders from throughout Arizona sat down in front of their devices to commence module five of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). The inaugural cohort had seen continuous growth in the previous four weeks in familiarity, inspiration, and knowledge. As the fifth ILA zoom meeting got underway, the momentum was palpable, and for good reason. With Geoffrey Blackwell as the guest speaker, the cohort was in for an exhilarating evening. 

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous peoples paused on participating in many invaluable cultural events that focus on the importance of togetherness and community....

The Indigenous Leadership Academy is currently ongoing. Stay tuned to see updates about the program!

“Revolutionary,” “electrifying passion,” and “dazzling audiences with her speed, energy and fire.” These are just some of the words used to describe the dancer, Maria Tallchief (Osage). When choosing who to write about this for this blog during Women’s History Month, I kept thinking of Indigenous women politicians. I considered it until I was speaking with my coworker, Sadie Vermillion who holds a bachelor of arts in dance. She suggested I write about Maria Tallchief. I thought that was a wonderful idea. 

In reading about Maria Tallchief I also learned about her sister, Marjorie Tallchief, who...

Can you believe we are halfway through the inaugural cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA)? We’ve had the honor of having very talented guest speakers during our meetings. We are so appreciative of all our guest speakers for modules two through five. These experts in their respective fields imparted their knowledge, shared their insights, and gave their time to the ILA. You can read more about each of our talented guest speakers below. 

Module 2: Understanding Political and Economic Contexts in Indian Country; 

Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) is an experienced leader in law, higher education, governance, economic development, and conflict resolution. She serves as Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy is currently ongoing. Stay tuned to see updates about the program!

Kristen: When planning this next reading list, Elizabeth Quiroga, student archivist at the Labriola National American Indian Data Center (Labriola Center)  and I had something completely different in mind. After some discussion, we decided that Indigenous STEAM would be our next reading list. We tried to stick to the same criteria that no book is more than $40 (US) and all books can be found at the Arizona State University library. Whenever possible, we link the books to the publisher and the Labriola Center, some of which are available through Open Stack.

Elizabeth: When...

As we dig into this new year, I see the seeds of opportunity bearing fruit.  Just over a year ago, we had the opportunity to envision a leadership program for Indigenous people in Arizona. Knowing nothing like this existed in the Nation, we jumped at the chance to build it.  We hosted listening sessions with the community, hired Native staff, contracted with Native curriculum writers, hired indigenous facilitators,  found partners at the university, and began the process of designing an indigenous-created curriculum for leadership.  On Saturday, January 29th, 2022, we launched the inaugural cohort of our Indigenous Leadership Academy

Watching the group take shape as our facilitator implemented the curriculum, as...

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