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Academy Co-Founder and CEO Deron Marquez reflects on 66th NCAI Annual Convention and Trade Show

October 15, 2009

Dear Friends:

It has been an extraordinary three days for the Academy of Tribal & Local Government.

Our national debut at the 66th Annual NCAI Convention and Trade Show was a tremendous success and we now look forward to working directly with tribal governments all over North America on creating customized programs designed to tackle the major issues facing Indian Country today.

For me personally, these past three days were memorable on many levels. It was great to see so many old friends and familiar faces, and to meet new and dynamic tribal leaders and others working to make a difference in Indian Country.

I also came away recharged with a new excitement and optimism. There is a sense that despite these difficult economic times that have indeed hit tribal nations as hard, or harder, than anywhere else, a brighter future lies ahead.

As such, I believe the Academy is perfectly positioned to help empower and secure that brighter future for tribal governments throughout North America by addressing and providing solutions to the short and long-term issues they face. 

Needless to say, I was humbled and inspired by the reaction from tribal representatives at NCAI, including even Alaska Natives and members of Canadian First Nations, who expressed a strong desire to work with us on customized programs to address their specific needs. 

We met literally hundreds of tribal leaders, regulatory officials, business owners and others at NCAI looking for answers and workable solutions to the major issues facing Indian Country. Each and every one was excited about the Academy and its commitment to developing customized education programs designed to deliver positive long-term results. 

There is so much excitement that many actually approached us during the convention with innovative ideas to explore an even greater range of issues tribes face daily. As such, we are already working to expand our core curriculum to incorporate these new issues that affect virtually every tribe in North America. 

Perhaps most personally fulfilling is that the Academy is Native-owned and operated. Along with respected leaders with more than 200 years of Indian Country experience, we are working hand-in-hand with tribes to address critical issues and provide viable solutions for every facet of Indian Country. 

As the former Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, I understand the challenges tribal leaders face. I am honored to lead the Academy’s efforts to not only build bridges of understanding between Indian Country and local governments nationwide, but also to help create more effective tribal governments that are more responsive to the needs of their general memberships.

Our faculty includes some of the finest Native American minds in the academic world, as well as respected tribal government leaders, business innovators and others, many of whom are members of tribes themselves. We bring a deep understanding of Native American culture, traditions and practices found nowhere else.

And we are adding new faculty virtually every day; we have received phone calls and emails from tribal, academic and industry leaders from all over North America seeking to join the best and the brightest in developing programs and solutions for Indian Country.

We believe our institute stands alone in that we offer the finest possible hands-on educational experience for tribal governments throughout North America.

From business management and economic development, effective tribal leadership and legal matters, to improved relations with other governments, employees, local businesses and much more, the Academy serves the very specific needs of tribal governments, Alaska villages and corporations, and Canadian First Nations everywhere. But that’s not all.

The Academy also offers specialized full and half-day educational seminars for local, county and state government officials and employees that examine a wide range of Native American issues and emphasize strategies to foster strong relations with neighboring tribal nations.

Finally, the Academy’s online Vendor Certification Program will provide businesses seeking to work with tribal governments training in Native American affairs, tribal government structures, sovereignty, Indian law, cultural sensitivity and more.

No other training and education institute offers the universe of programs we do, and with our expanding program offerings and world-class faculty, we are truly excited about the Academy’s future.

To everyone we met at the NCAI Convention and Trade Show: thank you for your enthusiastic interest and support. We look forward to working with you in the coming days to identify your specific needs and create a customized program package that works for you.

And to tribal nations, leaders and others we have yet to meet: we hope to see you at future gatherings in the weeks and months to come. Please take a moment to visit our website as www.ATLGonline.com to learn more about what the Academy of Tribal & Local Government is doing that is creating such a buzz throughout Indian Country.Deron-4.jpg

 

Deron Marquez is Co-Founder and CEO of the Academy of Tribal & Local Government