Chris James | Reservation Economic Summit

Chris James is the President & CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), a role he recently stepped into. He grew up in Cherokee, North Carolina in the heartland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Chris James

Chris James, President & CEO of NCAIED

Chris is busy preparing for the National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) that is quickly approaching in March. But he carved out time to share stopped by to share his story with NextGen Native. Continue reading

Jackson Brossy | On the Shoulders of Others

Jackson Brossy is the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. He appeared on the show previously and returned for another conversation.

Jackson Brossy

Jackson Brossy

Since this was the first episode I recorded in 2017, I asked Jackson about whether he makes any resolutions. He doesn’t, but he did share one of his goals for the year. Through his work, he wants to acquire property to open an embassy for the Navajo Nation in Washington, DC. We talked about where the idea came from, building upon others’ ideas, and finding projects that are both big picture and the next step in a process.

The conversation made me think about work done in Indian Country generally. I think much of what we do as young professionals focuses on building upon the work of those that came before us. It isn’t different, or better, or “new” necessarily, but we may be able to take on projects and initiatives now because of the work that others did before us. Conversely, people that are bringing new ideas, or trying to take on a goal that’s failed before doesn’t mean they think they are better than those that came before them, it’s simply that their experience is different, the resources available may different, or any variety of reasons.

We also talk about what we’ve been reading recently. For Jackson, it’s Andrew Carnegie’s autobiography, for me I highlighted an article about palliative care and how it’s making me think not about the end of life, but about living life to the fullest.

I had fun catching up with a friend I’ve known for 10 years now. We discussed a bit about moving through different stages in life. The last 18 months I’ve had a lot of new things in my life, all good, too!  But it’s definitely made me think about where I am currently, and it’s hard to imagine knowing people that I met after college for a decade already. Anyway, these are the kind of conversations Jackson and I have when we get together, hopefully you enjoy it!

Also, hit us up if you have good fiction for us to read…

Lacey Horn on Managing $700 Million

“We are in a period of radical change…step into your role, do what you do best and raise the profile of tribes in a positive light.” Lacey Horn

Lacey Horn is a citizen of and treasurer for the Cherokee Nation. Principal Chief Bill John Baker appointed Lacey to this position In this role, Lacey is responsible for a budget that totals almost $700 million dollars for the Nation.

Lacey Horn

Lacey Horn, Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation

Lacey grew up in Vian, Oklahoma. I admire her story because it’s one that combines a steadfast comfort and certainty in her life goals, combined with seizing opportunities. Lacey worked hard to achieve her goals and these opportunities overlapped with her hard work.

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Ashley Tuomi | Unexpected Path to Growth

Ashley Tuomi

Ashley Tuomi

Ashley Tuomi on growth: “Take any opportunity to increase our knowledge.”

Ashley Tuomi (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) is the Executive Director of the American Indian Health and Family Services. Currently, she is the President of the National Council of Urban Indian Health. Ashley’s career did not end up where she imagined, but she is right where she is supposed to be.

Ashley’s father served in the military, her family moved constantly for the first several years of her life. As a child she thought her career path led to plastic surgery. Ashley did not have dreams of working for actors in Hollywood, but rather she saw the real impact of plastic surgery on people who needed it such as kids with cleft palates. Everyone knew her goal, powwow emcees introduced her as the future doctor. Continue reading

Terra Branson | Reflections on Personal Growth

Terra Branson: “How do you look backward but still move forward?”

Terra Branson (Muscogee Creek) is the Executive Director of the Self-Governance Communication  and Education Consortium.Terra joined the show previously, and she returned  graciously for another wide-ranging conversation.

Terra Branson

Terra Branson

When Terra Branson last joined the show, she just started her job at SGCEC as the Executive Director. Two years later, we discuss her adjustment and growth in the role. Part of her experience includes settling into her community of McAlester, Oklahoma. Like many that move to a new community, Terra experienced the challenge of building new friendships after college and in her professional career.

We discussed identifying your skill sets, how to use those in your career, and how often times others see those skills in you before you see them in yourself. Continue reading

Reno Franklin | Servant Leadership

Reno Franklin on Forgiveness: “The most important thing is to be open minded to allow forgiveness…some of the horrible things that were done to us, we know our story. We know the horrible things. We don’t let that define who we are. Those horrible things that were done to Kashia are not who Kashia are. We’ll never forget it. We’ll always remember it. We’ll honor those that was done to, but we won’t let that define us. And we will be open to forgiveness….I would challenge everyone to find it.”

Reno Franklin is Chairman of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians. This episode is a bit different because I usually do not have tribal leaders on the show. This is not for negative reasons, but instead I want to highlight the work of others not in leadership positions to show how much amazing work is being done in Indian Country.

It’s also different because while we discuss Reno’s life, we also discuss his work as a tribal leader, projects he’s working on, approaches to being a leader. It’s definitely a fun conversation, and that’s before we even get to his story. Continue reading

Brian Howard | Uncomfortable Growth

Brian Howard is Research and Policy Analyst American Indian Policy Institute. He is Pipash, Akimel and Tohono O’odham. I’ve always respected Brian for his humility, knack for policy, and his commitment to Indian Country. During our conversation, I got to know more about his personal story, which I think includes a key lesson for everyone: being uncomfortable in order to grow.

Brian Howard

Brian Howard with U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva

Brian shared a few stories during our conversation that shared the theme of growth and trying something new. What I found unique about the experiences was that he was able to combine the new experience with a familiar one so that the new challenge does not seem to have been as challenging as it could have been. For example, Brian traveled to Australia and New Zealand for a study abroad program when he was 16 years old. It was a big transition, but he spent much of his time in communities with Aborigines and Maoris, a familiar experience that helped him in his experience.
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The Navajo Dory | Natalie Benally

“You give everything you got. It’s hard, It’s super challenging. You give all your life force to your art. so when you see the tiny moment when people are smiling, laughing, or being proud…”-Natalie Benally

Natalie Benally

Natalie Benally at the premiere of Finding Nemo. Image courtesy of Benally

Natalie Benally at the premiere of Finding Nemo. Image courtesy of Benally

Natalie Benally, Navajo, wears many hats. Or maybe the better metaphor is…dance shoes. Natalie is a member of the Native American contemporary dance company Dancing Earth. She also served as the voice of Dory for the remake of Finding Nemo, or Nemo Hádéést’į́į́. Oh, and she also has a full time job as the teacher of the arts back on Navajo Nation.
Natalie and I connected while Dancing Earth was visiting Crystal Bridges as part of a special exhibit on dance. We had a wide ranging conversation. Continue reading

Be Productive NOT Busy: A Mindset

On Not Being Busy

Jaclyn Roessel, Navajo, is many things. She is the Public Programs and Education Director at the Heard Museum. She is is one half of Schmooze: Lady Connected. She writes for the fashion site Presence 4.0. She curates her own website Grown Up Navajo. She’s even a previous guest on NextGen Native. One thing Jaclyn isn’t? Busy.

Jaclyn Roessel

Jaclyn Roessel

That doesn’t mean Jaclyn doesn’t have a full schedule or a lot going on. Quite the contrary. What it does mean, for her, is that she is mindful of what the word means and that people often use it as a crutch. Jaclyn has been on a minor campaign to remove that word from the lexicon of those around her. I appreciate it. I had the same revelation a few years ago. Continue reading

Art, Politics and Bryan Newland

 

Thougthful Political Discourse

Bryan Newland joined NextGen Native the day after the election in 2016. We discussed a variety of issues about politics, from the election itself, what it means for tribes, and broader ideas and actions around politics generally.

Bryan NewlandIt’s not your normal take on politics, which I think is a good thing. Not that there is anything wrong with the “normal take,” it’s just that people are used to it. If you want to hear some in depth conversation about these issues, to hear some thoughts that should challenge people on any side of a political debate (in a good way), than this conversation is for you.

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