Indian Country Blog Posts

If you have not checked out what we’re up to lately, I encourage you to take a look. I’m so excited about what the AIPI team is accomplishing. About how they’ve grown and gelled as a team.  All you have to do is read about what’s going on with the Indigenous Leadership Academy’s second cohort of 27 emerging leaders from 15 tribal nations in 8 states and Washington, DC. Or take a look at our recent policy and research publications on a major Supreme Court Ruling and FCC Data Collection. Additionally, we’re working as part of the Indigneous Faculty Collective at Arizona State University on setting up a series of...

AIPI congratulates the Arizona Tribes and Tribal entities who were awarded with new Broadband funding over the last few weeks. On August 30, 2022, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $105,846,128.07 in grants to five Tribal entities in Arizona. The NTIA awarded grants to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, San Carlos Apache Tribal Council/Triplet Mountain Communications, Inc., and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. NTIA estimates that these projects combined will connect 33,300 homes to broadband internet. AIPI and the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that 18% of residents on Tribal lands...

On June 29, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delivered a decision that reverberated throughout all of Indian Country. In the case of Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, the Court held that “the Federal Government and the State have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian country.” In response to this decision the American Indian Policy Institute is providing consolidated resources in one place for those interested in learning more about the Castro-Huerta decision and implications for Tribal sovereignty. 

The decision in Castro-Huerta directly contradicts long-settled legal precedent surrounding Tribal criminal jurisdiction and is a monumental step backward in the inherent sovereignty of Native...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy Fall 2022 Cohort application closes tomorrow, at midnight MST.. There’s still time to apply! You can learn more about the Indigenous Leadership Academy by visiting our webpage here.

Have you seen the video of the spelling bee and the student who cannot understand the word being given? He keeps asking clarifying questions and it's comical how long it takes. You can watch it here. This past weekend while hiking, my partner and I were discussing the video and we agreed, if the student had not asked clarifying questions he would’ve definitely not spelled the word correctly and ultimately eliminated from the spelling bee. Professionally...

So much change. There’s been so much change in such a short period of time. In late 2019, AIPI had just published the Tribal Technology Assessment and moved from The College to Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.  By early 2020, we had our first real grants supporting our work and we were so optimistic. Then it changed.  

The changes brought on and accelerated by the pandemic were unprecedented. There were some unexpected and frankly unbelievable gains in 2020 and 2021 as COVID shined the light on things; as Tribes have always been the canary in a coal mine. However, now the policy pendulum is swinging a different way,...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy Application is now open! In this blog post, I wanted to answer some questions I’ve gotten from people about the Indigenous Leadership Academy. 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 is open now! You can apply here: https://bit.ly/3ne1rvJ

When does the application close?

The application closes on July 22, 2022, so be sure to get your application in as soon as possible.

How is the cohort run?

It was developed as a hybrid model. The first module and the tenth module meeting are in-person in Phoenix (tentatively) and the middle two...

The National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI) Mid-Year conference is taking place in person next week, June 12th-16th, in Anchorage, Alaska. This year’s theme, “Thinking Beyond Self-Determination”, will bring tribal leaders, NCAI members, Native youth, and partners from across Indian Country together to engage in establishing a new era of tribal governance and highlighting issues that are important to Indian communities. The Mid Year Conference Marketplace never disappoints with an average of 800 visitors and vendors from across the country. 

In conjunction with this year’s theme, our Executive Director, Traci Morris PhD. will introduce and moderate the Beyond Tribal Self-Determination Panel at the First General Assembly on Tuesday, June 14th....

*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...

This month, we celebrate the resilience of all those who live with mental illness and those who have passed on after battling mental illness. Among other mental health concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic has been shown to increase stress and depression.  I am a Two-Spirit person living with bipolar and anxiety. I have acutely experienced the impact of the pandemic. I offer my story today to frame a discussion of mental health resources and Indigenous approaches to mental health.

It’s 2022; I am 28 years old and have been struggling my whole life with the aforementioned conditions. For me, these mental health issues came with suicidal thoughts and alcohol use. The...

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...

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