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Like many of you, I’m writing this message from what’s been my “home” office for the last two months. We at the National Center continue to follow CDC and state guidelines and embrace our new reality.

Although many of us continue to work remotely, we continue our mission to create economic opportunity for Indian Country. Earlier this month, we partnered with Wal Mart to connected Native businesses with the retail giant’s supplier chain. And on Friday, May 29 we hosted a joint webinar with Square so that Native-owned businesses can learn more about their small business services.

Over the summer, we have four regionally focused Native Edge Institutes currently in the works with dates and locations being finalized. These NEIs will be available for everyone across the country through a webcast and live webinar. The next one will take place in Spokane, Washington on June 24. Stay tuned for more information about these events by visiting our website at www.ncaied.org.

We’re also in the process of launching an exciting new project to help tribes and tribal entities purchase personal protective equipment, or PPE, both during the current pandemic in the future. We’re partnering with Project N95, which vets suppliers to ensure purchasers are getting a quality product at a reasonable price. We are launching a website soon and distributing a fact sheet to tribes in need of quality information to effectively respond to an unprecedented situation. I will be sharing additional information on this in the coming weeks.

Finally, for this month’s newsletter we profiled Heritage Distilling, and their partnership with the Chehalis Tribe in Washington State to make hand sanitizer as a response to COVID-19. We hope you take a minute to learn more about their work and the Tribal Business Network that Heritage is developing.

Thank you for your support of the National Center. I look forward to when we can see each other in person again.


Chris James
President and CEO
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development