Native Leaders Reflect On ENLS

“The Emerging Native Leaders Summit is a great experience for an aspiring Native leader. If it’s their first time to DC, the summit offers an orientation to the history, government relations protocol, and culture of the city. It also gives students inspiration and confidence to work in our nation’s capital.” -Victoria Kitcheyan


Victoria Kitcheyan, a former employee of HoChunk Inc. has now risen to be a tribal leader for her community. Victoria’s success has carried her from being an Office Manager/Technical Writer at the HoChunk Inc. subsidiary, All Native Systems, to Tribal Secretary for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Victoria attended NACA’s Emerging Native Leaders Summit (ENLS) in 2011 and attributes part of her success to the training provided by NACA. Victoria

“[While attending the ENLS] I learned the value of building relationships with my congressional delegation as well as the senate and house of appropriations committees. It was a great exercise in networking and pushing tribal initiatives. In a mock hearing, I had the opportunity to advocate for frybread at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing room. My ENLS experience has come full circle as I will be testifying before the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs [this week] for the Oversight Hearing on “Reexamining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains”. “-Victoria Kitcheyan

Christopher Munoz, now the Human Resources Director for Tigua Inc. found the program so enriching he attended the event three years in a row and now sits on the ENLS Content Committee.

“The best value I received from ENLS was the power of networking with other tribes and learning what their doing with contracts. . .  The Tigua Tribe did not have strong networks with other tribes but this really opened up networks with other native youth, that I still maintain today.” – Christopher Munoz

NACA’s goal is not only to support its members in the challenges they face today, but also to prepare their communities for success in the future. This year the Summit will be held in Washington, DC on August 16-18, 2016. The program includes a mix of learning about business and advocacy, helping participants think full circle about the business process, including the role congress plays in a native communities success.

“I was able to see where other tribes were finding their niche in business and then I was able to see where my tribe could go.” – Christopher Munoz


 

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Along with training on how to effectively advocate, NACA walks participants through the process of developing a business plan. NACA brings in subject matter experts on markets, finance, and contracting to help participants think creatively about the potential future of their community.

“The [business development] exercise was one where you are the contractors creating something you are going to sell to the community or the government. The NACA Board of Directors choose a business plan to win in competition. I got second, but it motivated me to refine it and make it better, which has taken me to where I am now.” –Christopher Munoz

This year, NACA is partnering with the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Generation Indigenous (GenI) initiative for the Summit. The curriculum is broken into three days: Day 1-Business Basics, Day 2-Understanding Industry, Day 3-Indian Law & Advocacy. Along with trainings, the summit will feature keynote speakers from subject matter experts and host a networking reception to include Hill staff, local native and business organizations, as well as partners and sponsors of NACA.

If you have any questions about ENLS 2016, please reach out to Julie Potter (julie@nativecontractors.org).


 

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August 16-18, 2016 | Washington, D.C.

 


 Register Here!