We’d love for you to learn about a dynamic tool that helps open up career pathways and systems change in tribal communities.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Partnership for Tribal Governance offers the Tribal Workforce Development Toolkit, or alternatively: “A nation-building checklist for tribal workforce development.”

Indian Country Today op-ed series goes deep on ideas in the toolkit.

NCAI explores topics addressed by the toolkit in a recent eight-part op-ed series, “Building the Human Capacity to Rebuild Tribal Nations.” Published online by Indian Country Today, the first installment is “Tribal workforce development: Success starts with governance.”

The essay provides an overview of 15 strategies detailed in the toolkit. NCAI is reframing workforce development as an issue for tribes that goes beyond reservation unemployment rates or jobs. Instead, NCAI argues for a more holistic approach:


“It is about identifying and creating opportunities and then preparing their citizens to seize those opportunities by forging difference-making careers that strengthen not only the citizens, but their families as well.

“It is about revitalizing tribal communities and cultures. It is about eradicating despair and dependency, and fostering self-sufficiency and hope in their place.”


NCAI’s holistic take on workforce development is an example of the kinds of approaches we’re supporting through our Work Opportunity portfolio, which funds grantees who offer not only workforce education and training, but also help pave career pathways by changing the system itself.

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Together we can keep identifying—and then addressing—the structural and cultural barriers that impede employment equity for all. NCAI’s toolkit is an invaluable resource.