Indigenous Leadership Academy

ILA Participant Testimonial

AIPI Indigenous Leadership Academy

ILA Program Sponsors

Thanks to our generous sponsor APS who has given seed money two years in a row to fund this program.


The American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) signature program Indigenous Leadership Academy works with emerging Indigenous leaders from throughout Arizona and nationally to expand their knowledge, skills, and networks to address long-term issues faced by Indigenous governments, communities, associations, and corporations. The program will inspire and motivate participants to execute strategies and lead change. There is no comparable program in the Nation.

Upon completing this program, participants will be able to:

●      Demonstrate an understanding of effective leadership practices that are contextually situated and culturally framed;

●      Analyze and reflect on multiple case studies and models of Indigenous leadership;

●      Utilize data and leverage resources effectively; 

●      Improve communication and representation of self and community;

●      Examine strategies for facilitating collaborations, fostering partnerships, and building consensus; 

●      Design personalized leadership and project/program action plans.

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The Indigenous Leadership Academy Announces the Spring 2023 Cohort

The American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) is excited to announce the Spring 2023 cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA)! With a focus on emerging leaders, there has never been a leadership program like this before in the country. Twenty-two of fifty-three applicants have been accepted into the cohort, representing 15 tribes from 10 states and Washington D.C. All participants demonstrated a strong passion for working with and for Indigenous communities. Some topics that the participants are passionate about are: broadband, criminal justice reform, economy, education, healthcare, transportation, and youth just to name a few. If you are interested in participating in the Indigenous Leadership Academy please follow our journey on social media. 

Meet the Cohort

What is the Indigenous Leadership Academy

The ILA is the first program inclusive of indigenous leadership principles within an IDEA landscape. The differentiating factor for this program is that it is not for just Tribal leaders, its for emerging Indigenous leaders in Arizona and nationally. The initial ILA program started in January 2022 with seed funding from Arizona Public Service (APS). By collaborating with APS, and various schools at ASU and professors, we were able to create a brand and curriculum that attracted emerging Indigenous and community leaders from Arizona and nationwide.  This signature program is committed to building the next generation of Tribal leaders.

 The ILA has completed two cohort sessions as of November 2022.  The ILA program is now poised to build on the successful outcomes achieved to-date.  The integration of IDEA concepts to the existing programming will enable participants to view each topic through an added lens approach to understanding how anti-racist and anti-oppression can create inclusive environments for equity and access across a wide-range of topics.


ILA General Info

Eligibility Criteria:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be committed to attending all 10 meetings (January 2023 - April 2023)
  • Must have adequate internet for Zoom 
  • Must commit to all required work for the cohort
  • Must reside within the United States (US Residents Only)
  • Must have an understanding of tribal sovereignty and tribal communities in the United States
  • Must be age 21 or over
  • Is interested in being an emerging leader in Indian country
  • Must have a desire to positively impact your home community
  • Must have a project in mind that will benefit Indian country
  • Must be willing to expand knowledge, skills, and network
  • Must be excited to work with a diverse group of people
  • Someone who has a can-do attitude
  • Must have a desire to solve an issue
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Evidence of a Bachelors degree, Evidence of an AA degree, or 5 years minimum of work experience


  • The cost is $1650 for the 10-week program
  • Scholarships are available and you're automatically considered upon application to ILA


  • ASU digital certification upon completion of all work requirements