The Indigenous Governance Program

A unique professional development and graduate education program providing a deep, practical understanding of Indigenous governance, law & policy

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Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Arizona


How and why do Indigenous nations reclaim effective self-governing power? What is working and where?

Our curriculum is based on decades of on-the-ground research, analysis, and case studies by the people who literally wrote the book on Indigenous nation building.


Do what’s useful for you: take a 3-day accelerated January in Tucson (JIT) course (or several), take online courses, or enroll in a certificate or degree program.

All credits earned during JIT may apply toward our Continuing Education Certificate. JIT credits earned on a not-for-university-credit basis may replace required Grad Program courses.


Meet other tribal professionals and leaders who are working to assert their nations’ sovereignty.

Learn from the experiences of other Native nations that are strengthening Indigenous governance.


January in Tucson (JIT)

Our Annual Indigenous Education Event

Learn more

Meet our Students, Hear about our Impact


"JIT provides a world perspective, not just a tribal perspective... it's been instrumental in helping me understand that governance is not just about leaders, its about a long-term vision that includes the community."

Thomasene Cardona (Yavapai-Apache Nation)
Tribal Councilmember, Yavapai-Apache Nation



The class was a mix of attorneys, an elder, a judge... a good mix of people who aren’t doing exactly what I’m doing... which expands your opportunity to learn.”

Melissa Borton (Chignik Lagoon Tribe)
Tribal Administrator, Chignik Lagoon Tribe


“The seven generations behind me, I want to be there to help them lead a good path. The level of teaching here is beyond any scope that I've seen.”

Louis de Jaeger (Red River Settlement Michif)
President, Stó:lō Business Association


"'s a movement to propel Indian country to self-determine and move forward. The concept of self-determination is afforded to us and its up to us to pick up that mantle to do whatever is culturally appropriate for our community."

Derrick Leslie (White Mountain Apache Nation)
Higher Education Coordinator, White Mountain Apache Nation


"Expect a completely immersive approach to education and professional development, a safe environment to ask the questions that would otherwise be left unanswered.. to be an advocate for an innovative approach to self-governance."

Shandiin Herrera (Navajo Nation)
Policy Analyst & Project Consultant, Lead for America Hometown Fellowship/ Oljato Chapter of the Navajo Nation


"This has given me a bigger range of knowledge on issues that I know are going to help me as we make decisions as an Executive Committee. I've been able to talk to other tribal leaders about our future needs in the field of intergovernance."

Vanessa Vance (Wichita and Affiliated Tribes)
Tribal Treasurer, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes


"The task is to rebuild our nations."

-Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation