Launched in December 2009, the Native Nation Rebuilders Program is the Bush Foundation’s response to many tribal leaders representing the 23 nations the Foundation serves, who told us that developing and supporting emerging Native leaders, as well as existing leaders, will be crucial to their nation’s success over the long term.
The Native Nation Rebuilders Program is intended to complement the partnerships we want to engage in with the tribes by building a cadre of “rebuilders.” Each year we will invite up to approximately 30 emerging leaders to participate in seminars to strengthen their leadership skills and nation-building knowledge so they may be instrumental in moving their nations, in cooperation with elected leadership, toward realization of their tribes’ unique goals.
The Foundation has chosen four cohorts of Rebuilders—in February 2010, December 2010, November 2011, and November 2012. The Foundation will accept applications for a fifth cohort from July 1 to August 15, 2013.
How the Program Works
Each Rebuilder will participate in a two-year process. In the first six months of the program, the Foundation and its partner, the Native Nations Institute, will support Rebuilders by providing access to ideas and information, expanded networks, leadership training and other resources for nation-building through in-person educational sessions and distance learning. Then, Rebuilders will use these tools and skills to implement action plans, in which they engage in practical nation-building projects within their communities.
Feedback from Current Rebuilders
“The program has given me a much better and more accurate view of tribal sovereignty and the power that lies within Indian communities, and how I can leverage that in order to promote mental well-being for Indian people.”
"Every time I come together with my cohort, I leave feeling energized and ready to get to work and tackle stuff that was bogging me down.”
“It is an honor to be a part of this program. Thank you so much for selecting me and giving me the opportunity to expand on my leadership and nation-building skill. Pilamiya!"