Indigenous Leadership for Native Nation Building

LAW #TBD | 1 credit


All Day, Jan. 1, 2022

Karen Diver & Chellie Spiller

JIT 2022 Dates TBD

Many of us recognize leadership—or the lack of it—when we see it. But what are the keys to effective leadership? What skills do contemporary leaders need? What lessons can would-be leaders learn from the past, from the present, for the future?

As Indigenous peoples in various parts of the world reclaim their right to govern themselves and set about rebuilding their nations, these questions have increasing relevance and urgency. Many of those peoples carry their own histories of capable leadership: men and women who guided them through times of crisis and times of plenty. What can we learn from past legacies? Where should we look today for leadership lessons? How can we make sure that Native nations will have the kinds of leaders and the quality of leadership they need tomorrow?

This course considers various philosophies of leadership, the skills and behaviors that contribute to effective leadership, the leadership role in Native Nation rebuilding, and practical leadership lessons from Indigenous experience, past and present. It includes lecture, small-group exercises, readings, and in-class discussion.


Upon completing this course, participates will be able to:

  • Understand some of the keys to effective leadership that steward Native Nation rebuilding efforts among Indigenous nations, communities, lands, and peoples;
  • Distinguish between various Indigenous leadership philosophies and understand how these approaches have contributed to the historic and modern frameworks of Indigenous governance; and
  • Demonstrate the relevance of Indigenous leadership philosophies to a number of contemporary case studies in practical leadership examples from Indigenous communities around the world.