Tiwahe envisions a collaborative approach for American Indian leadership across urban, tribal and rural communities that moves from isolation to transformation, action and social change.
Native leaders across Minnesota have the opportunity to connect to others through the Oyate Leadership Network. Our collective values and community work can strengthen through collaborative connections within this network. Find support, access resources, and collaborate with Native leaders for your own work.

Native American Leadership Network

Exec Summary Figure 1




Upcoming Oyate Leadership Network Sessions

Cohort 4
September 16th, 2017
October 28th, 2017
December 1st, 2017
January 13th, 2018

Cohort 5
February 17th, 2018
March 17th, 2018
April 21st, 2018
May 29th, 2018

Cohort 6
September 22nd 2018
September 23rd 2018
October 20th 2018
October 21st 2018

Cohort 7
November 17h 2018
November 18th 2018
December 15th 2018
December 16th

Oyate Network Goals

  • Help leaders grow support through experiential learning, peer sharing, and networking grounded in Native culture.
  • Connect leaders across the state using technology and face-to-face strategies.
  • Fund community projects.
  • Foster sustainability by building relationships, increasing cultural practice, and nurturing a circle of mutual support.
  • Provide a space as an opportunity to build connections between and among participants in the network.
  • Being practical in moving participants toward a grant-focused action plan.
  • Engage in leadership activities in tribal communities that lead toward a greater social and economic stability.

 Connect with Oyate Network community leaders throughout the state of Minnesota by creating your profile on the Oyate Network online work space at OyateNetwork.com

Melissa Olson
In 2015, Melissa was a part of the Oyate Network. She describes her project, “We Are All Connected” as a collaboration of four women with an idea to document multiple intergenerational stories of Indigenous women displaced by transcultural adoption. In creating more opportunities for belonging and storytelling, I believe we can begin to create a healthier community.

Missy Whiteman

 In 2016, she was part of Tiwahe Foundation’s Oyate Network of alumni of various leadership programs. “Before…I sometimes felt as if I was working in isolation. The network is not only valuable, but it is also a necessity. This is how indigenous communities traditionally operate, supporting one another to support sustainability.”

Past Project Participants
Sammie Ardito Rivera “Indigenous Reproductive Health and Birth Learning Project”
Nancy Cain-Kouri “Sacred Circle Project”
Melissa Olson “We Are All Connected: A Digital and Visual Storytelling Project
Arlana Omaha “Gathering of Sacred Voices IV: Annual Youth Leadership Summit”
Felicia Wesaw “Four Sisters Urban Garden
Missy Whiteman “The Coyote Way: Going Back Home Film Project

David Cournoyer, Jennifer Cross, Justin Beaulieu and Susan Beaulieu “Indigenous Resilience and Relationships Gathering”
Melissa Olson “We Are All Connected” audio documentary
Sharon Day Fundraising Event for IPTF’s Mikwanedun Audiosookon Art and Wellness Center

Bradley Harrington, Travis Zimmerman, Deanna StandingCloud “Gagiiginindizodaa! Ojibwe Language Gathering
Chari LaDuke-Clark “Comprehensive Civil Legal Needs Assessment of Northern Minnesota Reservation Communities through Anishinabe Legal Services, Inc.”
Missy Whiteman “The Coyote Way: Going Back Home” Website launch
Linsey McMurrin “Building the Bridge: Courageous Action on Racial Reconciliation Community Event”
Mary LaGarde “Minneapolis American Indian Center Redesign Process for Staff and Board Engagement”
Darren Landgren “Ojiibik Mashkiki Root Medicine Project
Neil McKay “Dakota Language Home Kit”
John Boyd ““Urban Tribal Exchange Youth Project”

Sterling Knox “Food is Medicine”
Ryan Dixon “Cansayapi Dakota Iapi Bowl”
Joy Annette “Ginan Zoongitaagozi – We Have a Strong Voice”
Wesley May “Healing Through Art”
Dustin Goslin “Nookomis Zaagi”

Interested in learning more? To be eligible to participate in the Oyate Leadership Network, you must first be a grant recipient of Tiwahe Foundation’s American Indian Family Empowerment Program or an alumni of the Bush Native Nation Rebuilders, Blandin Leadership Program, Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Circle of Leadership Academy, or a Bush Fellow.

To register to participate in an upcoming cohort, contact Deanna StandingCloud at 612-722-0587 or dstandingcloud@tiwahefoundation.org.