The Native Community Development Institute supports and strengthens the capacity of Native communities to reach their community development goals through collaborative, self-styled trainings, peer-to-peer workshops, and customized assistance.
With the guidance of MHP, participating Native communities build teams that convene leaders from across sectors to identify and tackle a project that addresses a pressing need in their community. Over 18 months, these teams participate in MHP-facilitated trainings and meet regularly to create a project plan — and receive individualized guidance from an MHP staff member throughout the process. Past projects include building a supportive housing complex, creating a center for workforce development, and updating a land use plan.
Lodging, and food costs provided!
Key Components of the Native Community Development Institute
Meet community development needs
Each team identifies a critical community need to focus on throughout the Institute. Six in-person workshops and customized assistance give teams the resources and support needed to launch their project.
Participation in the Institute:
- Strengthens leadership and collaboration across sectors.
- Builds team experience working across a wide range of development areas: housing, infrastructure, job creation, economic, and community development.
- Helps tribal teams facilitate greater community investment in their projects.
Photo: NCDI's Leech Lake team
Deepen cross-sector partnerships
Ambitious outcomes – a stronger economy, a healthier environment, and greater opportunity – demand strong collaborative efforts across jurisdictions and sectors at the local and tribal scale. The Institute breaks down divisions of land use, transportation, housing development, and economic development. In working across issue areas teams are able to:
- Find win-win solutions to commonly held problems
- Avoid the problem of isolated plans working at cross-purposes
- Learn from other’s experience and knowledge
- Combine resources to take on new projects
Topics covered by the Institute workshops position Native communities to capture local, state, and national resources to create and preserve community development projects. Teams have the opportunity to network with funders and present projects for feedback. These connections provide greater clarity about the application process and ultimately strengthen funding proposals. Teams leverage resources by:
- Sharing existing resources
- Reducing competition for limited funding and other resources through collaboration
- Identifying and securing new funding sources through a coordinated approach
Our Work in Action
Hosted by the White Earth Band of Ojibwe at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, the Native Community Development Institute (NCDI) met in May for its second two-day workshop. Similar to the Housing Institute, sponsored by MHP and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the NCDI is an opportunity to build capacity and foster regional collaboration among Tribal departments from three tribes in Northwest Minnesota. The White Earth, Leech Lake, and Red Lake teams have expressed interest in a wide range of issues, from land use planning to food sovereignty to increasing community engagement. Read the full story.