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Native Nation Rebuilders Program Opens July 1-Aug. 15 Application Period

Fifth cohort will join other emerging Native leaders in growing nation-building movement

(St. Paul, MN – July 1, 2013) The Bush Foundation is now accepting applications for the Native Nation Rebuilders Program, which strengthens leadership skills for emerging or existing leaders in 23 tribal nations and exposes them to concepts of nation-building. The application period ends Aug. 15.

The Foundation launched the Rebuilders program in 2010 in support of the elected leaders of the 23 Native nations the Foundation serves (see list below), who said that partnering with other emerging and existing Native leaders will be crucial to the success of their nations over the long term. Since then, nearly 60 individuals from 18 tribal nations have taken part in the training.

“Rebuilders have become important allies in the nation-rebuilding efforts of their tribes,” said Jaime A. Pinkham (Nez Perce) Bush Foundation vice president and head of its efforts to partner with tribal nations, including the Rebuilders program. “We continue to be inspired by the passion Rebuilders have for their lands and people, and by the deep connections they are making across nations with one another.”

Over the course of the two-year program, Rebuilders participate in five trainings led by several regional and national partners with expertise in nation-rebuilding, organizing and issues specific to Indian Country, including the Native Nations Institute and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Rebuilders fill a variety of roles in their nations, from citizens to program administrators to educators to elected leaders.

"Coming to the Rebuilders program has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Joe Eltogbi, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. “I’ve not only built capacity within myself as a leader, but I’ve also surrounded myself with others who are doing the same work across Indian Country."

"The training has far exceeded my expectations," said Dr. Twyla Baker-Demaray, a Rebuilder from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. "Every time that I come for training, my mind is just blown and I’m just so honored to be able to be a part of it. I get to work with a bunch of people who are committed to the same things that I want to see."

Wayne Ducheneaux II, a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, became a Rebuilder in 2011. He said, "I think what the Bush Foundation is doing here is going to give tribal leaders a rare opportunity to come together and be progressive and move forward. This is a great opportunity for anybody who wants to be involved in being a leader of their tribe. You’re going to get tools that are going to help you do a better job providing services for your people." Ducheneaux was elected vice-chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux's tribal council in 2012.

The Rebuilders Program will accept applications between July 1 and August 15 from candidates who are at least 25 years of age, an enrolled citizen of one of the 23 nations and currently living in Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota.

Meet other Rebuilders or learn how to apply to the program at

The 23 Native nations the Foundation serves are:

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Grand Portage Band of Chippewa

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Lower Sioux Indian Community

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Prairie Island Indian Community

Red Lake Nation

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Shakopee-Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

Spirit Lake Nation

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation

Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe

Upper Sioux Community

White Earth Nation

Yankton Sioux Tribe

About the Bush Foundation

Our mission is to be a catalyst for the courageous leadership necessary to create sustainable solutions to tough public problems and ensure community vitality. The Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, and today works in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Learn more at


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