Native Nations

The Bush Foundation region includes 23 sovereign, politically distinct Native nations with unique governments, histories and challenges. Our approach to working with these nations is grounded in Native nation rebuilding, the idea that Native nations have a dramatically better chance of achieving their goals if they have governments that 

  • are culturally legitimate,
  • exercise sovereignty effectively,
  • set long-term visions,
  • have public spirited leaders and
  • build institutions to implement these ideals.

Our approach is intended to be consistent with self-determination, where we will collaborate with the tribal leaders on individual tribal agendas for strengthening their governing systems. Our key partner in this work is the Native Nations Institute, an organization based in the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy.

What we're learning

Lessons Learned from the Native Nations Initiative
June 15, 2015


Nation-Building Approach
Nation-Building Approach

Joe Kalt - 2009 Tribal Leaders Summit

Our work in this area

Rebuilders is a leadership development program for tribal citizens who want to strengthen their nation-building knowledge and learn how to implement positive changes at their Native nations.

Bush Foundation funding has supported the development of nation building tools that all Native nations can use.