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Our monthly newsletter is hitting your inbox as we host our fourth Native Edge Institute – this time in Anchorage, Alaska. This is the National Center’s first event to take place in Alaska, and we’re happy to be working once again with our friends at GovContractPros and Arctic IT (a subsidiary of Fairbanks-based Doyon, Limited) to facilitate this one-day technology and procurement training event. We mean business for Native Americans and Alaska Natives and I know today’s event will be successful.

At the end of last month, we hosted a Native Edge Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma in conjunction with the 10thAnniversary Celebration of the Native American 40 under 40 awards. Hundreds of young leaders were in Tulsa to celebrate their achievements and share their knowledge with others. In addition to the excellent programming offered at the Native Edge Institute, we had a full day of panels focused on organizational leadership, mentorship, advocacy, tribal economic development, and much more. It’s clear that 40 under 40 winners share a special connection and have much to offer to each other. Bringing them together to foster and build upon those relationships is essential for creating the type of close-knit Native community we have long sought.

Of course, we spent time to honor the 2018 class of 40 under 40 winners, which spans all corners of the country and dozens of tribes. Among this prestigious group are tribal political and economic development leaders, attorneys, health care professionals, cultural preservationists, educators, non-profit leaders, and many others. We celebrated their achievements our awards gala, which also featured the winners of our five American Indian Business Scholarship winners. These scholarships are sponsored with generous contributions from Ongweoweh Corporation and Lockheed Martin, totaling over $25,000 this year.

In many ways, the scholarship program is reflective of some of the goals we’re trying to achieve at the National Center. Ongweoweh President and CEO Justin Bennett, who is both a past scholarship winner and 40 under 40 alumni, said, “The business scholarships are a way to both personally and professionally express gratitude and give back appreciation for what the National Center has done for me.” And appropriately, one of the students his scholarship supports is Jessica Mehta, who had previously won a scholarship for her undergraduate studies and is a 2017 40 under 40 award winner. The National Center is proud of the work we’re doing to create educational and business opportunities for deserving students and young leaders.

We hope you enjoy the holiday season and take time to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. And don’t forget – our 2019 Reservation Economic Summit is just around the corner. So don’t delay – secure your spot today!


Chris James