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Fellowship for Future Indian Leaders Accepting Applications

Here’s a great, hands-on fellowship for people interested in becoming leaders in First Nations communities. An initiative of the First Nations Development Institute (www.firstnations.org), the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Development (LEAD) Program is a one-year educational program designed to provide undergraduate, masters, or law students or rising nonprofit staff with hands-on experience at a reservation-based nonprofit organization. At the same time, the host organization will benefit from access to highly motivated American Indian students or professionals who can offer business planning, budgeting, feasibility planning, marketing, grantwriting, etc.

Each host organization’s executive director or president will serve as a mentor working with the apprentice to identify specific skill-building goals, objectives, and activities for an individual learning plan and project to be accomplished by the apprentice over the one-year period. Apprentices may either apply along with a mentor (with whom they are not currently employed) or choose to be paired with a mentor from a slate of host organizations that will be selected under a separate application process.

Program participants will receive a one-year paid apprenticeship of $50,000. Host organizations will be awarded a $20,000 grant to compensate for the costs of the mentor spending time with the apprentice. Funds may also be used to meet the objectives of the program or nonprofit capacity-building project.

Apprentice candidates must have demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to pursuing a career in the Native nonprofit sector; have three years’ full-time work experience that includes management of people and/or projects, as well as an applied understanding of fundraising, finance, and technology; and be affiliated with an Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or American Indian Tribe. Host organization candidates must have demonstrated leadership capacity and a commitment to developing future Native nonprofit leaders; have a minimum of five years of successful organizational operations in service to Indian Country; and have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or §7871 designation from the IRS.

See the First Nations Web site for complete program information and apprentice and host organization application materials. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2007.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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