Tribal Boards and Councils have the opportunity to make a real difference for the people they serve, but they need to be equipped with the proper tools to do it. This hands-on, practical course is perfect for new Board or Council Members, Members who would like a refresher, and Boards and Councils who want to make sure all their Members have a shared understanding of essential governance functions. You’ll get a big picture view of the role of government and your roles and responsibilities as a Tribal Board or Council Member, then we’ll focus in on specific topics and how they apply to your governing body. This is not a theory class—our instructor will work with your group to facilitate activities and discussions that will apply to real situations you deal with, so you can start putting what you learn to use right away.
When you bring this training onsite or have us deliver it to you remotely, you can select the topics you would like to focus on below. You can select all of them if they all are important, or eliminate ones you don’t need so you can spend more time on priority topics. We are often able to add or substitute in additional modules that fit within the scope of the training, depending on the subject matter expertise of your instructor in those areas. Let us know what you'd like, and we will accommodate any requests we are able to.
Big Picture Overview
Government’s function and authority
How are tribal governments structured?
5 important pillars:
Laws and jurisdiction
Separation of powers, separation of business and politics
What makes our tribe who we are? What is our stated purpose, vision, values, mission?
Reflection: How does your tribal government’s structure support its purpose? Are there ways it impedes it?
Facilitated Discussion: What does Native leadership mean?
Traits and behaviors of effective leaders
Difference between leadership and management
Community expectations of tribal leaders
Ethics and confidentiality
Reflection: Who do your decisions impact?
Your Role on the Board or Council
What are the powers and responsibilities of the Board or Council?
What authority do individual Board or Council Members have?
Duties and Conduct
Recognizing and avoiding Conflicts of Interest
The Board or Council’s Role In…
Using the strategic plan to make decisions and to increase accountability
Planning from a policy and budgeting standpoint
Board’s role in the budget process
Reading audit reports
Understanding monthly fiscal reports
Relationships with Other Governments
Principles of Government-to-Government relationships
Other Key Figures
Relationship of authority, responsibility, and accountability
When is it oversight, when is it micromanagement?
What does “Unity of Control” mean and why does it matter?
Delegating to the CEO/Tribal Administrator
Delegating to Committees
The role of committees
How committees can be structured
Using action items to produce outcomes
How to hold people accountable when delegating
Building Better Relationships with Staff
Signs of a problem:
Lack of strategic alignment or direction
A toxic organizational culture, including bullying
Lack of trust, respect, or candor
Establishing proper communication channels
Setting and keeping boundaries
Setting clear and consistent expectations
Providing a means for redress
Exercise: Which solutions should your Board/Council try?
How to evaluate the CEO/Tribal Administrator
Evaluating the Board or Council’s own performance
Role and authority of the Chair
Roberts Rules Cheat Sheet
Strategies for reaching consensus
Common problems and how to address them:
Late or absent members
Meetings are too long
Meetings do not produce outcomes
Difficult personalities or dynamics
Reading and Interpreting Ordinances
Understand how ordinances are structured
Check for context
Look for a definitions section
Read the complete heading
Pay attention to the format and organization
Look for keywords
Look up words you don’t know
Read cross-referenced sections
Consider the intent of the governing body
Reading sample ordinances
First name *
Last name *
Bring this Class to You
Let us know how many people the training is for, your approximate time frame for holding it, if you have a preference for onsite or remote training, and any comments about what you would like your learners to get out of the class. We'll contact you to discuss.