January 2018 Newsletter

Director's Message

Hachinchokmata! Ayoppa Afammi Himitta'! (Hello to everyone! Happy New Year)

We thank you for reading our newsletter and our legislative policy updates. We look forward to continuing to provide this service. Shortly we'll release our annual report. This document will speak to AIPI's commitment to what ASU calls social embeddeness (see us on page 33). Our report will highlight our programs, projects, diversity, and community impact.  This coming year looks to be a strong year; one of sustaining our existing programs and building relationships.

 --Director, Traci Morris


TFMC for Practitioners December Recap

The December 2017 Tribal Financial Management Certificate Training for Practitioners was attended by a broad representation of attendees. There were 52 participants from 27 different  tribes and tribal organizations from 14 states. This TFMC was well represented by the Midwest; Wisconsin had the greatest representation with 8 attendees. We also had attendees from the BIA and from consulting firms.

The December TFMC featured returning speakers as well as a new addition. Corrine Wilson (Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Nevada) of REDW once again provided her expertise with the attendees. Hattie Mitchell (Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation), Director of Finance for AMERIND Risk joined Corrine and presented on several topics at TFMC. Steve Heely (Walpole Island First Nation) of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld presented on “Taxation in Indian Country”, which is always a crowd pleaser.

With the release of NAFOA’s Financial Reporting and Information Guide for Tribal Governments and Enterprises, also known as The Orange Book, many of the topics presented at TFMC were aligned with this invaluable guidebook. Topics such as Accounting Principles, Government Fund Accounting, and Procurement were presented. The presentation by Mr. Heeley on Taxation always draws a lively discussion. New presenter Ms. Mitchell presented the emerging issues discussion and discussed ways to report financial information to Tribal Leadership, a very important skill no doubt. 
What our participants are saying this training: 

“Very impressive speakers and presenters. Corrine and Hattie are absolutely amazing with the amount of knowledge they possess. I feel like Hattie is a budding superstar.”
“TFMC helped me to understand compliance needs and how it applies to our grants.”
“As a program manager this training was very useful and allowed me to have a better understanding of the importance of reports.”
“Would absolutely recommend TFMC. Lots of material that was covered by great presenters.”
“Established a credible network for advice from an unbiased 3rd party. I received an Orange Book with application of concepts.”

We host the training each June and December with our partners at NAFOA. 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. 

AIPI Research & Policy Analyst Brian Howard Nominated to the Full Color 50 Foundation 

Established in November 2017, Full Color Future is a new think tank and advocacy organization committed to changing the narrative about people of color in media, technology, and innovation. AIPI Research & Policy Analyst, Brian Howard, was among the 50 people of color highlighted in Full Color Future’s inaugural Full Color 50 list of leaders paving the way to create positive change in the fields of public policy, technology, and entrepreneurship. Howard was selected due to his policy work in the areas of Tribal telecommunications and technology with AIPI and its partner Tribal organizations.

“I am honored to have been selected as part of the inaugural Full Color 50 list of leaders. Full Color 50 is meant to highlight people of color leveraging technology and the Internet to inform public policy surrounding social justice, rights to information access, economics, and content creation and innovation”, stated AIPI Research & Policy Analyst, Brian Howard. “I look forward to working with others involved in Full Color Future to further support informed policy  decisions that uplift disadvantaged communities of color. Public policy, at all levels of government, must be developed to ensure that Tribal governments, businesses, and citizens have equal access to resources that drive economic innovation and responsible uses of technology.” 

AIPI Advisory Council Member Matthew Rantanen Addresses U.N. Internet Governance Forum

On December 21, 2017, AIPI Board Member Matthew Rantanen provided closing remarks on Tribal connectivity issues during the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Rantanen is the Director of Technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association and manages the Tribal Digital Village, which is a wireless network that provides services to 17 reservations throughout San Diego County, California.

Photo Courtesy of U.N. Internet Governance Forum

During his closing remarks, Mr. Rantanen stressed that Indigenous peoples across the world must have a seat at the table to develop and implement Internet governance protocols. Furthermore, Mr. Rantanen also stated that Indigenous peoples are the most underrepresented voices and communities in the world and that the Internet would fail to be the resource it should be if their input were not included in future dialogues.

The UN Internet Governance Forum brings together people from around the world to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet as it pertains to both the public and private sectors. During this annual convening, delegates exchange information and share best practices that support the governance on the Internet on an international level.



Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day AZ | Arizona State Capital Senate Lawn | January 10, 2018 

ASU ILP Desert Southwest Voting Rights Hearing | Phoenix, AZ | January 11, 2018

Tribal Transportation Utility Caucus Meeting | Crown Plaza Hotel, Phoenix, AZ | January 17, 2018

Festival of Tribal & Arizona Art & Entertainers | Fountain Hills Fountain, Fountain Hills, AZ | January 26-28, 2018


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


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