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Fifty-four participants from thirty-five tribes and twenty-two states attended the latest Tribal Financial Management Certificate training co-hosted by the American Indian Policy Institute at ASU and the Native American Financial Officers Association on June 12 -14 at the ASU Tempe Campus. The cohort represented personnel serving in various capacities within the financial management arm of their respective organizations and/or tribes. The participants were also diverse in years of experience and specialty areas which made for a dynamic networking opportunity.
Together, the participants learned a wide range of financial management topics - from an overview level of federal Indian law and taxation to the nuances of procurement and internal controls and everything in between - all presented by industry experts. The modules were based on the NAFOA publication, Financial Reporting and Information Guide for Tribal Governments and Enterprises, the premier resource for all things related to financial reporting framework in a tribal setting.
To ensure active participation, reinforce knowledge retention and engage different learning styles, the presentations included lectures, interactive discussions, case studies, team exercises, pop quizzes, and reflection.
The topics covered, speakers featured, and materials used were all rated 4+ out of 5 stars and everyone walked away having improved their knowledge of tribal financial management. For some who were new to the field, they found great value in the inclusive scope of topics. Said one participant, “It was good to hear about the history of how tribal finance emerged in Indian country and the laws enacted to get us here.” For some, it reinforced their existing knowledge: “[the experience] allowed me to get a "whole picture" and have confidence in my ability to do what's right for the tribe.” As well, many participants felt well informed to implement best practices and were hopeful see improvements happen within their operations.
As a bonus during this class, a storytelling expert led a workshop entitled “Telling a Story With Numbers: Persuasive Narratives”, an interactive session designed to help many of the self-proclaimed “numbers people” in the room to convey the message behind their data effectively. They learned to strategically break down valued points and thoughtfully analyze their audience in order to construct a compelling narrative, demonstrating the critical role of numbers and the experts who manage them.
AIPI Director Morris participated in a community STEM event in June. This invite-only event hosted by Google Cloud sought to promote sharing, discussing, learning, and networking. Further, it was a call to action to increase interest, academic adherence, and ultimately career opportunity for Women and Diversity in the field of Science & Technology. The goal of the day was to come together as a group, and create an intention toward action to transform Science and Technology.
Speakers came from K-12 Education, Science Center Leadership, local IT Leadership luminaries, and Technology standouts. The half-day also included networking and ice-breaking activities as it was hosted in the Science Center's "Create Maker's Space."
#YouCanSitWithUs is ahashtag used for diversity and inclusion.
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