Sovereignty Blog Posts

The American Indian Policy Institute’s Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) is currently running its second cohort! Sign up here to follow along and receive ILA updates.

I wanted to do a “where are they now?” series from the first ILA cohort for a while now. The first cohort was a learning curve for me and the cohort came with so many wonderful ideas and insights. I really enjoyed getting to know them and I wanted the rest of the world to know them too. 

Our first guest in this series is Mikah Carlos. She is a breath of fresh air and every time she speaks, a joke spills out. She is...

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...

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...

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...

This month is National wildfire awareness month, and it is an important time for those of us who live in regions prone to wildfires. Wildfires have been a threat to ecosystems, human life, and property, many Tribes live in areas that face regular wildfires such as forests, grasslands, and prairies. Here in the southwest, wildfires are intensified by the hot and dry conditions of ongoing drought. However, the threat is spreading to more areas around the world. According to a 2022 UN Environment Programme report, wildfires are burning more frequently and with greater intensity, and in areas that do not normally experience them.

Wildfires are part of the larger...

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) closely follows public policy analysis and research surrounding the systemic violence suffered by Indigenous women. In recognition of SAAM, AIPI would like to take some time and space to discuss the recent 2022 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and its projected effect on Indigenous communities. The reauthorization of VAWA reaffirmed the critical legislative focus on the domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking faced by Indigenous women in the United States. In a constant effort to destigmatize the disproportionate representation of violence against Indigenous women, this blog aims to create a safe space...

On Earth Day, we would like to highlight the deep relationship Indigenous peoples have to the land and how Indigenous peoples are responding to climate change around the world. It is an often-cited fact that Indigenous peoples are responsible for land that has 80 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity. Yet it is also true that Indigenous peoples face the brunt of climate change. Today, we focus on ways Indigenous peoples are planning for the future and highlight resources on climate change for Tribal Nations.

As inherent stewards of the land, Tribal Nations are already taking action. Yale 360 documented how the Swinomish are revitalizing their relationship with the ocean...

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