Reclaiming Resilience, American Indian Leadership

The theme of Strengthening the Circle’s fall 2022 Native nonprofit leadership program was "Reclaiming Resilience.” The CAIRNS director was invited to present a keynote address that explored leadership in the context of resilience. The talk was organized into three sections. The first section modeled a method of “land acknowledgement” that goes beyond the performative reciting of the names of past peoples. The second section critically examined three of the five “identities” subsumed by the catchall term “American Indian” and argued that   each of these orientations has its own land base and source of sovereignty. The presentation wrapped up by moving the focus from characteristics of individuals (leaders and leadership) to strategies of residents of a community (governance) that illustrated the transitioning governing entities in traditional Lakotan otonwahes (towns) over the course of a typical year.