May 2018 Newsletter

TFMC Features Experts in Tribal Financial Matters



The Spring 2018 Tribal Financial Management Certification Training is happening next month. This professional certificate training for tribal government financial management practitioners--a component of our Tribal Economic Leadership Program--provides an in-depth background in tribal government finance, Indian law, taxation, and economic development. It is the official training course for the new NAFOA publication, Financial Reporting and Information Guide for Tribal Governments and Enterprises a.k.a. “Orange Book”. The training will be led by a roster of notable presenters including subject matter experts and industry leaders (pictured above, from left to right).

Steven Heely, J.D., has served on various senate and house committees and is currently a consultant to Akin Gump. He advises Indian tribes on corporate, transactional and natural resources matters, as well as on tribal governance and jurisdictional issues.

Hattie Mitchell, C.P.A., is the Director of Finance for AMERIND Risk. She has served as Treasurer for the PBPN Tribal Council ad as Director of Internal Audit for the Seneca Gaming Authority. She also serves as Treasurer for the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA).

Jennifer Parisien, is the Financial Management Policy Specialist for the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA). She ensures tribal interests are considered in proposed grant management reforms, accounting rule changes, and amendments, as well as developing tribal financial management capacity by providing current and relevant information on major financial regulation issues.

Tasha Repp, C.P.A., has been in public accounting since 1997. She provides accounting and auditing services to tribal governments and their related entities, focusing on giving her clients a practical, clear understanding of audit results to help them improve their operations.

Mark Stout is one of two Branch Chiefs at the U.S. Department of Interior, Interior Business Center, Office of Indirect Cost Services (ICS) in Sacramento, CA.His Branch is responsible for negotiating indirect cost rates for non-Federal entities—including Indian Tribes, Insular Governments, state and local government agencies/departments, and others—who receive the majority of their Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Interior.  

Corinne Wilson, C.P.A., is a seasoned auditor, trainer and consultant who has dedicated her professional career to serving Native American tribes and is nationally recognized as an expert in tribal government financial management. Her combined public accounting background and hands-on experience working inside tribal organizations makes Corrine uniquely qualified as an insightful and proactive advisor to tribal governments, tribal gaming and business enterprises, and tribal healthcare facilities.

Robert Yoder, J.D. represents Tribal employers throughout the country and is a frequent speaker on issues of Tribal sovereignty. The majority of Mr. Yoder’s practice is devoted to representing Tribal employers in connection with pension, tax, benefits, and IGRA trust matters.

To learn more about the speakers, agenda, logistical details, and to register, visit Attendees can earn up to 20 CPE credits. Space is limited.

Register for TFMC

Phoenix Indian Center's 35th Annual Silver and Turquoise Ball Honors Women Warriors

Photo Credit: Phoenix Indian Center

AIPI staff attended the 35th Annual Silver & Turquoise Ball on Saturday, April 18th. With a theme of Honoring Women Warriors, the evening showcased strong women through a premier American Indian silent and liver auction, fashion show, indigenous cuisine, and cultural performances. The annual celebration benefits the Phoenix Indian Center, which was established in 1947 as the first urban Indian Center in the Nation of its kind. The center serves the American Indian community with culturally relevant youth services, language and cultural revitalization programs, education and workforce development.

Crucial Conversations on the Digital Divide in Washington, DC


Photo: Traci Morris

AIPI Director Traci Morris attended a National Library Week Tribal Event held at the U.S. Capitol, Senate Visitor Center on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The event was hosted by the American Library Association and included a luncheon and panel discussion on the Tribal Connect Act of 2017 (S.2205), highlighting the importance of broadband connectivity to tribal and rural communities. The discussion focused on how broadband connectivity and telecommunications infrastructure in rural and tribal regions help to enhance education, provide economic opportunity, and close the digital divide. The panel explored the role that libraries play as community institutions that facilitate digital inclusion.

The luncheon kicked off with introductions by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and American Library Association President Jim Neal and the panel discussion was moderated by ALA Spectrum Scholar Elayne Silversmith, the branch librarian for the Vine Deloria, Jr. Library located in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Resources Center. 

The Panelists included: Cynthia Aguilar, a librarian with Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico; Hannah Buckland, director of Library Services at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota; Irene Flannery, director of AMERIND Critical Infrastructure; and Kelly Wismer Public Relations Manager at NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.

Senator Heinrich introduced S.2205, the Tribal Connect Act of 2017, in the Senate last year to extend E-Rate Access to Tribal Libraries.  Now there is a companion bill, H.R. 5661, the Tribal Connect Act, a House companion to the bill introduced last December by Senators Heinrich and Heller. The bill addresses the Federal Communications Commission's E-Rate program. The bill would establish a pilot program for tribal anchor institutions (e.g. Longhouses and Chapter Houses) to be eligible for E-Rate support. The bill also would provide training and technical assistance to apply for and implement the E-Rate program in addition to requiring the FCC to develop performance measures for ensuring that tribal libraries have affordable internet access.​


Native Women's Business Summit Kicks-off in New Mexico


Photo: Native Women's Business Summit on Facebook

The inaugural Native Women’s Business Summit was held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 13-14. The event welcomed 200+ Native American women in business from various backgrounds to share collective experiences, grow social capital, and create a network that is reflective of the women’s culture and communities.

Candace Mendez, owner of Salt.V.Mo Events and an affiliate of AIPI, primarily attended the summit as a networking opportunity but felt like she walked away with so much more. Mendez felt that having a program designed for women by women provided a safe and encouraging space for the participants to address the challenges that they face by focusing on strategies for success rather than the dominant deficit narrative.

The workshops covered a range of culturally relevant topics and provided a nuanced perspective that allowed participants to gain knowledge and skills that were specific to their experiences and needs. The discussion themes also helped validate the socially embedded nature of many of the businesses represented at the summit, which were designed to fill a need within the tribal communities by providing jobs, lower-cost products, and crucial services to their people. This shared goal helped strengthen their bond as women entrepreneurs and helped build a community of practitioners through peers to peer mentorship.

Moving forward, Mendez hopes to see a similar type of interaction develop within the Arizona network of business owners. There is a renewed level of energy and dedication within the core group Arizona business owners and a shared vision to develop a more robust presence and increase engagement among Native business owners in the state. Mendez and her cohorts hope to leverage their newly found resources and the momentum created from the summit.

Lady Yazzie, a freelance Dance Performer, Model, B/Vlogger, Health Educator, and another affiliate of AIPI through Inno-Nations, also attended the inaugural summit. Although she was not sure what to expect at first, she became increasingly excited as guest speakers were announced because they were female entrepreneurs whom she had admire or with whom she had previously worked. The biggest takeaway for Yazzie was the opportunity to make mutually beneficial connections. Partly through this experience, we can expect Yazzie to grow her newest project, "Slay in Beauty", a modern take on the Diné philosophy, "Walk in Beauty", which aims to spread empowerment, inspiration, and hope while living in an Indigenized world, and to accommodate bookings for performance, modeling, and workshops.


Congratulations to AIPI student worker, Christina Haswood!

Photo: Christina Haswood

Christina Haswood (Tódich'ii'nii, Dibéłzhíní, Naasht'ézhi Tábąąhá, Kinyaa'áanii) has been a Sun Devil at heart since 2010, when she first visited campus while in high school. This month, she is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in public health.

Being in Phoenix — 1,000 miles away from [her hometown in] Lawrence, Kansas — these past three years has taught me more than just academics. I did a lot of growing up and could not be any more thankful for the friends, mentors and everyone who has crossed my path,” Haswood said.

Though her academic focus is in public health, Haswood worked at the American Indian Policy Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a student office assistant where she gained valuable experience.

“My experience at [the policy institute] is one of the highlights of ASU. Working under this great team, I have learned valuable skills that I carry throughout my life. The support from the staff helped pushed me through hard times academically and helped with the homesickness as everyone felt like an aunt and uncle to me. They taught me professionalism, Native leadership, and I knew I could come to anyone for advice. As a future Native American professional, I am excited for the day my path will cross with the institute where I can contribute my skills on a professional level. Ahéhee' [Thank you]!”

More on Christina at ASU Now


36th Annual National Conference of the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society | Warwick, Rhode Island| May 8, 2018 - May 10, 2018

National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers - special Workshop | Isleta Resort & Casino | Albuquerque, NM | May 8-9, 2018

Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit | Meskwaki Nation | Tama, Iowa | May 9-13, 2018

Manito Ahbee Festival | Manitoba, Canada | May 15 - 20, 2018

Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference | UCLA | May 17-19, 2018

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Mid Year Convention | Legends Casino Hotel | Toppenish, WA | May 21-24, 2018

Tribal Interior Budget Council | Washington, DC | May 22-24, 2018

2018 Native Broadcast Summit | Wild Horse Pass Casino & Hotel | Chandler, AZ | May 22-24, 2018

Zuni Festival | Museum of Northern Arizona | Flagstaff, AZ | May 26-27, 2018

AMERIND Risk & NAIHC Convention & Tradeshow | San Diego, CA | May 30-June 1, 2018

Living Well Traditionally (LWT Youth Diabetes Prevention Camp | Prescott Valley, AZ | May 29 - June 1, 2018

AMERIND | NAIHC Annual Convention & Trade Show | Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina | San Diego, CA | May 30 - June 1, 2018


NCAI Mid Year Conference and Marketplace | Kansas City, MO | June 3-6, 2018

42nd Annual National Indian Timber Symposium | Ocean Shores, WA | June 4-7, 2018 

Salaska Celebration | Juneau, AK | June 6-9, 2018

 Navajo Rug Auction | Museum of Northern Arizona | Flagstaff, AZ | June 9, 2018

22nd Annual Sheep is Life Celebration | Dine College | Tsalie, AZ | June 15-16, 2018

INSPIRE Program | ASU Tempe Campus | June 17-22, 2017

9th Annual American Indian/Indigenous Teacher Education Conference | Northern Arizona University | Flagstaff, AZ | June 22-23, 2018

19th National Native American Youth Initiative | George Washington University | Washington, DC | June 23 - July 1, 2018

11th Annual Arizona American Indian Youth Conference on Health and the Environment | Tempe, AZ | June 26 - 27, 2018

Hopi Festival | Museum of Northern Arizona | Flagstaff, AZ | June 30-July 1, 2018


National UNITY Conference | Orlando, FL | July 4-8, 2018

NABI Basketball | Maricopa, AZ | July 8-14, 2017 

21st Annual Prescott Indian Art Market | Sharlot Hall Museum | Prescott, AZ | July 14 - 15, 2018 

NIHB - 2018 American Indian and Alaska Native National Behavioral Health Conference | Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC | Jul 25, 2018 - Jul 27, 2018 

47th Annual Meeting & Health Conference Interweaving Strands of Our Past, Present & Future in Medicine | We Ko Pa Resort & Conference Center, Phoenix, AZ | July 26, 2018 - July 29, 2018 

2018 National TERO Conference | Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Resort Cherokee, NC |

July 29, 2018 - Aug 2, 2018 

WEWIN 2018 National Conference | Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - Milwaukee, WI | July 29, 2018 - Aug 1, 2018

National Caucus of Native American Legislators Legislative Summit | Los Angeles, CA | July 30, 2018 - Aug 2, 2018