American Heart Association and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Fertile Ground Leadership Institute

Seeds of Native Health

April 13, 2018

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and American Heart Association have launched the Fertile Ground Leadership Institute. It is designed to provide advanced training for Native Americans who are working toward health and dietary well-being in their communities and searching for new ways to strengthen their effectiveness through traditional knowledge. The partners are offering free registration to 50 Native leaders (18 years or older) from tribal, community and nonprofit settings who are interested in participating in this unique leadership development opportunity. The application process is competitive and final applications must be submitted by Wednesday, May 9, at 5 p.m. CDT.

A central goal of the Leadership Institute is to deepen the awareness of the path of our ancestors and how we build upon traditional knowledge to inform our work today. It will seek to deepen the understanding of the root causes of the challenges to health and wellness and position participants to be able to plan campaigns for policy shifts that improve the living conditions for all. To that end, the Leadership Institute will provide an intensive, Native-led curriculum over two-and-a-half days that centers on skills development for community engagement rooted in traditional indigenous knowledge. It will provide tools for effective strategic campaign planning and navigating the historic trauma which hinders efforts to fully engage Native communities. The Native Organizers Alliance and the American Indian Cancer Foundation will serve as lead trainers.

The Fertile Ground Institute will host the first cohort of 25 Native leaders for the training seminars on health advocacy organizing within Native communities in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota, on June 11-13. The training for the next cohort of 25 leaders will be in Seattle, Washington, on August 7-9. Round-trip airfare, accommodation, meals and the costs of the training will be covered for each participant.


Learn more and apply.