Tribal & Direct Services

Tribal & Direct Services

NNI provides specialized services to Indigenous nations, organizations, or communities requesting assistance with issues ranging from constitutional reform and institution-building to strategic planning and economic development on a fee for service basis. These educational programs and/or facilitated planning sessions are designed, in consultation with the client, to equip tribal leaders with the nation rebuilding knowledge necessary to address their organization’s or tribe’s needs.


NNI Tribal & Direct Services are based on NNI's research with Native nations on what works, what doesn't, and why, what NNI calls the Native Nation Building approach. Programs typically last one to three days and are offered in the requesting nation’s homeland (a virtual session may be available). In-person seminars are effective in reaching a critical mass of a nation’s leaders or citizens wanting to look more closely at their own governance challenges and learn from what other nations are doing.

NNI does not tell Native nations what they should do, but rather provides research-based information and examples to assist Indigenous nations and peoples in making their own decisions about their futures.

NNI also provides services to non-Indigenous entities seeking a better understanding of Native nations that will enhance working with Indigenous nations in a respectful and collaborative partnership.

"Our team of Department Directors went to this session to see how we could improve our organization structure and walked away with a comprehensive assessment of governance challenges, goals and action steps that needed to occur using the Nation Building model. The session also served as a good team building exercise and was good to get all the Directors on the same page."

-Hopi Tribe’s Executive Director’s office


Designed to strengthen Indigenous governments and governance, NNI’s Tribal & Direct Services include:

Customized educational seminars consisting of short lectures, facilitated discussions on applicability of content, decisional case studies, multimedia presentations, interactive brainstorming, and more are available on the following topics:

  • Native Nation Building
  • Tribal Constitutions
  • Economic Development
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Tribal Administration
  • Leadership
  • and more!

Participants at these seminars are typically elected leaders and key staff of Native nations, local communities, tribal enterprises, Native youth, and community members, as well as entities who work with Native nations.  

NNI also provides open registration seminars such as the Remaking Tribal Constitutions Seminar and Emerging Leader Seminar for newly elected leaders.

For upcoming schedules and/or to further discuss your needs please reach out:

Contact us

An analytical tool that is in-depth and more comprehensive than an educational session, a GANN session assists Indigenous nations with assessing and identifying their nation's governance challenges, goals, planning, and action needed. A GANN session is commonly combined with an educational session but can be conducted separately.

For customized sessions, NNI provides a summary report documenting participant input to assist in the implementation of decisions regarding projects, strengthening of organizations/departments, or task forces/committees, and meetings of any type.


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Engaging staff and/or citizens can, at times, be challenging and may require neutral, third-party facilitation. NNI staff are trained in facilitation methods for maximum participation and offer facilitation services for staff/community input sessions, strategic planning sessions that include identification of priorities, strategies, and action plans to begin their implementation, and more. Facilitation sessions can be conducted separately or combined with an educational session. 

For customized sessions, NNI provides a summary report documenting participant input to assist in the implementation of decisions regarding projects, strengthening of organizations/departments, or task forces/committees, and meetings of any type.

To further discuss your needs, please reach out:

Contact us


The 'Native Know-How: Understanding How to Work & Partner with Native Nations' (NKH) seminar is designed for non-Indigenous entities and individuals who work with Native nations to promote a better understanding of the governments and culture of Native Americans to create thriving working relationships and partnerships. This 3+ hour seminar is available virtually or in-person.

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NNI offers the following cohort programs to strengthen Indigenous governance by developing leadership skills in emerging and current tribal professionals. 

Tribal Professionals Cohort 

The NNI Tribal Professional Cohort is a year-long professional development program designed to equip Native professionals, serving Native communities, with knowledge and tools for Native Nation Building. This includes 3-day intensive courses at NNI’s January In Tucson program and quarterly Native Nation Building seminars. 

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Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship

The Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship is co-managed by the Udall Foundation and NNI. This Washington, DC-based internship provides Native American students an opportunity to gain practical experience with the federal legislative process and an understanding of relationships between tribal and federal governments. 

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NNI sponsors several youth programs to help build capacity in our future Native leaders.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program (NAYEP)

Native nations are challenged in building a sustainable economy on the reservation that provides jobs and income. These workshops are designed to inspire Native youth in building individual entrepreneurial skills while gaining real-world experience to plan, implement, and run a business, so they can contribute to their nation’s private sector. Workshops are typically available in the summer or upon request. 

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Project Youth ACT

Project Youth Agents of Change in Tribes (ACT) is a series of workshops designed to introduce and build the advocacy skills of Native youth. Workshops focus on how to advocate for social justice and address key issues affecting Native nations/communities while learning multi-media production skills. 

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Future Native Nation Builders

Designed for Native undergraduate students attending higher education institutions in Arizona, this workshop introduces the Native Nation Building approach and how it might align with their degree path. Participants will learn about the steps they can take to strengthen Indigenous governance.  

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Core Staff

Naomi Tom in a dark blue blouse and beaded necklace.

Naomi Tom (Tohono O'odham)

Manager, Tribal and Direct Services

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