February 2018 Newsletter

February 12, 2018


We are already in February! It's hard to believe.  During this past month, we've been a part of the AZ Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day, the Wiring the Rez Conference, and lectures here at ASU.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with what's going on both in the nation and in the state with regard to Indian Country.  We try to bring you the most relevant and timely information about happenings.

The highlight of this month was an invitation to attend the Inauguration Festivities at Gila River Indian Community for Governor Stephen Roe Lewis and Lt. Governor Robert Stone.  We were honored to attend and we were part of an ASU cohort, as Dr. Michael Crow, ASU's President, was the Keynote Speaker at the event.

--Director, Traci Morris

Arizona Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day

Held annually in accordance with Arizona State Statute, The Arizona Office on Tribal Relations, in cooperation with area Native American tribes, hosted the 23rd Annual Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.  AIPI was in attendance and cohosted an information booth with other ASU offices.

The event included a Joint Protocol Session at the AZ House of Representatives, a Luncheon, Informational Sessions, Exhibitor Fair, Native Youth Workshop, and an Open House by the AZ School Facilities Board.

The Joint Protocol Session saw Tribal Nations Addresses by Ms. Jane Russell-Winiecki, Chairwoman, Yavapai-Apache Nation; Mr. Edward Manuel, Chairman, Tohono O'odham Nation; and, Mr. Russell Begaye, President, Navajo Nation. Additionally, there were remarks by both the AZ Senate and House Leadership. 

AIPI Hosts Meeting of FirstNet Tribal Working Group

On February 7-8, AIPI provided space for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), Tribal Working Group meeting at the ASU Tempe Campus. Jacob Moore, AIPI Board Member and Assistant Vice President of Tribal Relations - American Indian Initiatives at ASU, provided welcoming remarks to the visiting Tribal Working Group delegates and FirstNet staff. Mr. Moore highlighted ASU's social embeddedness and ongoing collaboration with Tribal Nations in Arizona and across the country. The FirstNet Tribal Working Group met to discuss Tribal public safety communications concerns and other Tribal implications for FirstNet deployment and access.

Last February, AIPI Research & Policy Analyst Brian Howard was appointed by the National Congress of American Indians to the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee. As a member of the FirstNet PSAC, Howard also chairs the FirstNet Tribal Working Group, which is comprised of 13 delegates representing various Tribal governments and regional and national Tribal associations involved in telecommunications and public safety issues.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was created in February 2012 to establish a nationwide, interoperable broadband communications network dedicated to public safety users. The network was established to allow police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other public safety officials to communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions. In October 2017, FirstNet adopted a Tribal Consultation Policy that became effective in January 2018, enabling Tribal Nations to request direct government-to-government consultation with the FirstNet Authority for the first time since it was established in 2012.

AIPI Attends ASU ILP's Wiring The Rez Conference

AIPI was in attendance at the 4th Annual ASU Indian Legal Program's Wiring the Rez: Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Conference. In attendance was Dr. Traci Morris, Director; Brian Howard, Policy and Research Analyst; and, Geoffrey Blackwell, AIPI Advisory Board Member, Amerind Risk.  

This conference is held annually and explores the issues surrounding the development of Tribal Digital Sovereignty and E-Commerce in Indian Country including: jurisdictional complexities and the necessity of fostering open dialogue with federal and state counterparts, the changing political landscape, the possible implications to tribal sovereignty, and the ongoing need for tribes to finance and build infrastructures that facilitate economic growth on their reservations while complying with appropriate federal guidelines.

It is insightful as the attendees come from a diverse pool, including attorneys, scholars, financiers, gaming experts, and tribal leaders share strategies and practical implementations of diverse business models of current and for future e-commerce and infrastructure enterprises in order to work towards bridging the digital divide. 



Wiring the Rez: Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Conference | Chandler, AZ | February 1-2, 2018 

World Championship Hoop Dance Contest | Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ | February 10-12, 2018​

State of Indian Nations (SOIN) 2018 | Newseum (and online), Washington D.C. | February 12, 2018

NCAI Executive Council Winter Session | Washington D.C. | February 12-15, 2018


National RES Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV | March 5-8, 2018

Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market | Phoenix, AZ | March 3-4, 2018 ​

NAFOA 2018 Wells Fargo Sophomore Leaders Conference | Chandler, AZ | March 7-8, 2018

NAFOA 2018 Wells Fargo Sophomore Leaders Conference | Charlotte, NC | March 15-16, 2018


Federal Bar Association's Indian Law Conference | Scottsdale, AZ | April 5-6, 2018

Phoenix Indian Center's Annual Silver & Turquoise Ball | Scottsdale, AZ | April 14, 2018

National Indian Child Welfare Association Annual Conference | Anchorage, AK | April 15-18, 2018

NAFOA 36th Annual Conference | New Orleans, LA | April 23-24, 2018


AIPI Director Traci Morris lecture at the enLIGHTenING Luncheon hosted by the Future for Innovation in Society ASU

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, AIPI Director spoke at the ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society. SFIS hosts the enLIGHTenING Luncheon, which is a monthly lunchtime talk series with speakers from around the ASU campus.  Morris spoke about the AIPI's policy and research priorities, as well as Tribal telecommunications issues such as the digital divide.   

The event was well attended, with over 50 members of ASU staff, faculty, and graduate students from various departments.  Morris is affiliated faculty in the SFIS.


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