Posted on Apr 11, 2017
Enrolled members of Indian Country’s sovereign nations deserve well-functioning tribal governments devoted to serving and being accountable to their people. That’s the basis behind a Bush Foundation multi-million-dollar initiative that was explained at Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls, Monday, April 10.

“Our goal in the Nation Building strategy is to strengthen tribal governance and better advance the aspirations of their nations,” said Rotary program speaker Eileen Briggs of the Bush Foundation, a non-profit that invests in problem-solving, leadership, innovation and stronger communities throughout South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. “We want to make tribal governments in our region models that tribes look to in how to exercise their self-determination for the good of their people.”
Eileen Briggs, director of the Bush Foundation’s Nation Building Portfolio, is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a past Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and a graduate of Leadership South Dakota. The newly-created Native Governance Center was funded by the Bush Foundation to promote, strengthen and support tribal governance. The center works with the 23 Native nations in the region to create and implement solutions, and provide education and training. So far, more than 125 tribal citizens have graduated from the Native Nations Rebuilder program and have gone on to strengthen tribes and champion good governance. 
 
Program Highlights:
  • Eileen Briggs is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a past Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and a graduate of Leadership South Dakota.  Her Sioux name is "White Feather Woman." She has been with the Bush Foundation for 6 months.
  • The newly-created Native Governance Center is a non-profit organization, and is used to promote tribal government and leadership, strengthening and supporting tribal governance.
  • There are 23 Native nations in our region. So far, more than 125 tribal citizens have graduated from the Native Nations Rebuilder program and have gone on to strengthen tribes and champion good governance.
  • Nation building teaches using resources to do the most possible good for the community. 
  • Some principles are:  Investing in ideas and people; creative problem solving; support people and organizations; community creativity; education; social business ventures.
Next Week’s Program:
Sister Janet Horstman & Sister Lynn Welbig—Presentation Sisters:  Community/State Impact