Tag Archives: Cherokee

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!

Keith Harper | Go Do It

“If you want to do great things, then you should concentrate not on what you want to be but on what you want to do. You don’t have to be anything specific thing to impact issues you care about…[assess] those things you want to impact, and then go do it.”-Keith Harper

FullSizeRender(30)Keith Harper (Cherokee) is a partner at the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. In January 2017 Keith completed his appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Harper also served as one of the lead attorneys in the Cobell class action lawsuit. He appeared previously on NextGen Native to discuss his work, and he returned to share some conversation now that his post as Ambassador concluded.

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Chelsea Wilson | Mentors, Growth and Pushy Friends

“We have to show up and we have to apply for things outside [Indian Country]. There is no one better than us to than to represent at the national level.” -Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson on Mentors and Pushy Friends

Chelsea Wilson (Cherokee Nation) works at All Native Group, a division of Ho-Chunk Inc. She is active in the DC chapter of the New Leaders Council a member of the executive committee and is a previous fellow with the organization. If a full-time job and a one organization was not enough, Chelsea Wilson also chairs the Frontrunners Committee of the organization She Should Run.

Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson, Citizen of the Cherokee Nation

Chelsea Wilson describes herself as a giver, and if you cannot tell, she puts that into practice through the work she does personally and professionally. That character trait pays dividends back to Chelsea through the mentorships she’s developed over the years. And each mentorship helped Chelsea develop and find new ways to give back. It’s a classic story about how hard work, mentorship, and networks come together to provide opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

Chelsea worked for the Cherokee Nation where her boss mentored her and gave her projects to stretch her development. Eventually that led her to DC. I knew Chelsea’s boss at Cherokee Nation and she mentioned to me Chelsea’s interest in moving to DC. When I ran into her at a reception, that a “pushy friend” forced her to attend, I mentioned that I was looking to hire someone for my team.

After living in DC, Chelsea found her path through NLC and She Should Run. It’s refreshing to have someone that can articulate that their interest to serve in public office comes from a genuine place of giving. Many people say it, and for many people it’s true. But with Chelsea, you can feel her desire to serve.

In this conversation we discuss finding finding mentors the right way, growing professionally, and being willing to fail by trying. Chelsea Wilson combined each of these into her current work and others are starting to take notice.

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

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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Stacy Leeds | Cherokee Dean

“We never control the timing of our opportunities.”

“ I always thought about the removal with anger or sadness…and now I think about survival and resilience.”

Stacy Leeds

Stacy Leeds is a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is also Dean and Professor of Law at the University of ArkansasSchool of Law. Recently, the university reappointed Dean Leeds to a second term as Dean.

Let me restate that: Dean Leeds is a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Stacy Leeds

photo courtesy of Stacy Leeds

I am excited to get this conversation on the record to share, because Stacy is one of Indian Country’s shining stars.

Stacy is from Muskogee, Oklahoma. She was active in sports, excelling in basketball. Eventually she played small forward at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She was not familiar with the school’s prestige when the school contacted her initially, she decided to attend because it was where she could play ball.

This is a familiar theme in Stacy’s life, jumping into something full steam ahead. I’ve always found, despite my desire to learn as much as I can about an issue, the best way to do things is to dive in. Because when you dive into something you cannot allow yourself to get in your own way.

After college, she attended the University of Tulsa College of Law. During law school, she realized her desire to enter legal academia. So after school she participated as a Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. When the fellowship was finished, she taught at the University of North Dakota.

Her next stop was at the University of Kansas teaching as part of the Indigenous Studies program. Here she was able to take on an interim role as Dean. It was here where she realized that she could take on this role. Soon after, she was presented an opportunity to apply for the Dean position at Arkansas.

One of my favorite parts of the conversation was listening to Dean Leeds discuss her recent experience as a participant in the Remember the Removal ride.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The challenge of choosing between two good options.
  • Finding the Native community regardless of where you live.
  • Getting burned out, and taking care of yourself to prevent it.
  • The importance of relationships in Indian Country, law, and beyond.
  • The power of relativity and connection.
  • Working “in” Indian Country, and what does it mean when opportunities arise to work beyond Indian Country exclusively.
  • The phone call she got when she was offered the Dean position.
  • The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative.

No matter where you are in your professional journey, you can take something away from Stacy’s experience.

Adrienne Keene on Native Appropriations and Academics

Adrienne Keene on using your voice “Our voices will not be centered unless we fight for Native voices to be heard.”

Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee) will begin a position at Brown University this fall as a tenure track Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department.

Adrienne Keene

Dr. Adrienne Keene

She also is the author of Native Appropriations, her website that “is a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples including stereotypes, cultural appropriations, news, activism and more.” Each of these accomplishments alone is impressive. The fact that Keene accomplished both in recent years is pretty amazing. Continue reading