A Message from the Board President
As a Hopi tribal member, raised on the Hopi Indian Reservation, and as a tribal judge and mediator for many tribes, I witness our tribal communities' most pressing contemporary governance, justice and social problems. The Nakwatsvewat Institute has been established to serve as a resource for Native communities in strengthening their key institutions and community organizations.
I would like to share an example of what we do from my home community on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona. At Hopi, the traditional land system gives rise to unsettled tribal property law that fuels painful family, commercial, and governance disputes. These disputes lead to a proliferation of mobile homes unconnected to electricity or water; a brain drain of young educated Hopis to off-reservation towns and cities; and the absence of collateral for economic development. TNI is working with Hopi leaders to develop a community mediation program to assist village members in reaching agreements that will incorporate custom and tradition without going to court.
The guiding philosophy at TNI is to put tested and innovative models into the hands of Native communities so that they may tailor useful models to solve difficult local problems. Please support us in assisting indigenous communities in their organic nation-building and community building efforts.