Author Archives: NextGenAdmin

Chris James & Business Trends in Indian Country

Chris James is the President & CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). He returned to the show where we discussed current trends in business, leadership development in Indian Country, and the upcoming Northwest Enterprise Development Conference.

Chris James

Chris James, President & CEO of NCAIED

The event will take place in September 5-7 2017 at the Tulalip Casino. The NCAIED will also celebrate its 2017 class of the 40 Under 40 in Indian Country.

We talked several trends in business, living away from home, taking on new challenges, disconnecting from technology and identifying the priorities in work and personal lives.

A great conversation with one of Indian Country’s leaders in business!

Lance Morgan on the Decline of Federal Indian Law

Lance Morgan on the decline of federal Indian law:

“What we’re not teaching in law school is the other half of the system, where tribes are aggressively using their newly educated lawyers, their economic power, and their desire to do good to really change the equation.”

“Once you make the mental leap that the entire system is ridiculous…you don’t ever go back.”

Lance Morgan and the Rise of Tribal Law and the Decline of Federal Indian Law

Lance Morgan (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) is President & CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc. He is also the managing partner of the law firm Frederick Peebles and Morgan. And if you know Lance, or have read his previous work, you know that he is always good for a big idea, or an idea that pushes boundaries, in Indian Country. Lance returned to the show to discuss one of those ideas: the Rise of Tribal Law and the Decline of Federal Indian Law and he recently published an article by the same name in the Arizona State University Law Journal.

Lance Morgan

Lance Morgan, courtesy of Ho-Chunk Inc.

Many NextGen Natives are practicers of, or generally interested in, federal Indian law. Lance’s article is great because it forces readers to ask themselves the question how can tribal law be on the rise and federal Indian law be on the decline? The basic point is that tribal law is an exercise of tribal sovereignty whereas federal Indian law is the enforcement of restrictions imposed upon tribes over the last few centuries. And the decline of federal Indian law may not be a bad thing necessarily, if tribes exercise and use tribal law. You should go read it (after you listen to our discussion, of course). Continue reading

Joe Sarcinella on Fatherhood, Minimalism and Intentional Living

When Joe Sarcinella and I spoke, he was days away from becoming a father. As of publishing this episode, he is now a proud father (congrats!!). As a recent parent, I thought it would be fun to have Joe on NextGen Native to get the perspective of a recent first-time parent and a to-be parent. For those that aren’t parents, or have kids out of the house, this episode is also for you.

Although we talk about being parents, the conversation occurred in the same context that our conversations did below. That is, the topic of parenting is centered within living life with intentionality, in control.  How does one intentionally raise their child? How does one intentionally plan the rest of their life? One example: how do you raise a child in a 500 square foot apartment?

We also discussed Joe’s latest diet (previously vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, paleo), and his latest approach to physical fitness (weight lifting, to ultra marathons, to weight lifting, back to ultra marathons), and minimalism.

It’s a fun episode, and I hope that you benefit from it as much as I’ve had. Personally, I’m trying to apply more minimalism into my life, or at least rethinking it, thanks to Joe.

Heath Clayton on Hacking Growth, Mentors, and Success Through Naïveté

“People like genuine people. People like people who are authentic, people lke people who show up with their true identity. And being Chickasaw is part of who I am.”-Heath Clayton

Heath Clayton

Heath Clayton

One of the areas in which I love to dabble is what I call “life system hacking.” The basic idea is finding ways to create a life, circumvent expectations or bypass the norms of which we all are led to believe cannot be bypassed or circumvented. There are a lot of people who write about the subject online, and it can get a bit of a reputation as self-help like content. But I continue to expose myself to it because I think there are gems that can be found, if you know what you are looking for. I was excited to interview someone I think hacked the system quite successfully. That person is Heath Clayton (Chicksaw).

Heath earned a Bachelor’s degree for about $3,000 without stepping foot onto a university campus. After “college” he worked in the White House at age 21. Not after 21 years of working in politics. At 21 years old. Continue reading

Ryan Red Corn on Building and Creating Things

“There is a trap [in decolonization] that hinders a lot of potential growth. And that is centered in how we think about things. If you are only trained [to deconstruct] then you are stuck in a gear of deconstruction, which is important and useful. But if the goal is to increase capacity in Indian Country, then you are asking for builders, not destroyers, and that is a completely different type of thinking.” Ryan Red Corn

Ryan Red Corn

Ryan Red Corn

Ryan Red Corn

Ryan Red Corn (Osage) created the design firm Buffalo Nickel Creative and is also a member of the 1491s. He joined NextGen Native for a wide-ranging conversation.

Although we touched on comedy and had some light hearted moments, our conversation covered much more beyond comedy. We talked about the role his work and the work of others in graphic design and branding can play a role in Indian Country telling its stories better. We discussed how being creative and artistic is closely related to being an entrepreneur. Ryan shared how he uses different media to tell stories and how each is suited to have a certain impact. I dug into Ryan’s intentionality and how he uses it to manage his time and drive his art.

Continue reading

Geoff Roth | Successful Careers and Self Care

“I felt this need to take my skill set and apply it as broadly as I could as long as I could still feel like I was affecting the community.”-Geoff Roth

Geoff Roth

Geoff Roth

Geoff Roth

Geoff Roth is a descendent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He recently completed an appointment as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the Indian Health Service under Dr. Yvette Roubideaux. His story is great for people that are looking to grow their career rapidly. It is also a great story for those that are looking to find balance in their lives. It may not seem intuitive that both those lessons could be learned from the same person, but that’s what makes Geoff’s story unique. He’s a good friend and I am excited to share his story.

Before Geoff served as senior political appointee, he served in several high-level positions including the Executive Director at the National Council on Urban Indian Health and at the Native American Youth and Family Center. He also spent time at the Department of Education working in Indian Education. Continue reading

Jared Yazzie from OXDX | Make Something

What’s stopping you from making something? 

Jared Yazzie

OXDX Clothing

Jared Yazzie with his “Native Americans Discovered Columbus” design, was recently in the news.

Jared Yazzie is the founder of OXDX Clothing Company. He joined NextGen Native once again to catch up on his recent projects. Jared’s clothing has been a hot commodity for a few years, but recently his business is taking some major strides.

He recently won a scholarship to join an incubator , participated in an event at the Smithsonian, and won a contest held by Louie Gong’s Eighth Generation. Continue reading

Raina Thiele | Obama, Standing Rock, and the Start of Gen-I

Raina Thiele

Raina Thiele

Raina Thiele, Athabascan and Yup’ik, is President of Thiele Strategies. Before starting her own firm, Raina worked for President Obama in the White House Office of intergovernmental Affairs.  Raina joined the show to share her story that led her from Alaska to the White House and now to her current work. Raina’s story is a great example of how hard work, willingness to take on new challenges, and timing can come together to present amazing opportunities. Raina certainly capitalized on her experience to advance the profile of indian Country.

Continue reading

John Pepion on Open Minds and Never Ending Grind

John Pepion Works Hard to Achieve Success

John Pepion, Piikani Ledger Artist

John Pepion, Piikani Ledger Artist

The first time John Pepion (Piikani) appeared on NextGen Native, I titled the accompanying blog post “Up and Coming Ledger Artist.” About 1.5 years later John returned to catch up, and from our conversation, the title was accurate! John’s on the move, and if you’re not familiar with his work, you should check it out.

We discussed how he has grown as an artist and businessperson recently. He mentioned he started growing even more when he opened himself up to learn and take feedback from others. This mindset can be applied to any job or activity. It can be hard to open yourself up to feedback, but it empowers you in a way that few other things can.

As John opened himself up to feedback, he started engaging more and more with communities. His Instagram page shows tons of photos with him at schools. He also mentioned he spends time with elder groups. And through this service, he gains new insight and perspective on his art that he can use to grow, even while giving back to others. Continue reading

Heather Whitemanrunshim | Indigenous in Perpetuity

“Focus on being proactive and use the future as the guidance point when you [encounter] challenges. What you work for is bigger than us [individually].” -Heather Whitemanrunshim

Heather Whitemanrunshim

Heather Whitemanrunshim, photo courtesy of the Native American Rights Fund

Heather Whitemanrunshim is Apsalooke (Crow Nation). She is an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) where she works primarily on issues pertaining to water law.

Our wide-ranging conversation touched on two issues that I am still thinking about several days later. First, we discussed the need to be vulnerable to learn language and/or culture. I think it is a common experience that people our age grew up afraid to admit we didn’t know as much language as others, or we were worried about making mistakes. The alternative is to avoid it and avoid that experience. We need to foster environments that encourage learning and make it easier to be uncomfortable and make mistakes. As a new parent, I am thinking about how to teach my child about who we are, and that requires me learning even more along the way, too. Continue reading