It has been another busy month for both me and the National Center, and I know the next month and the rest of the year will be no different. A few weeks ago, I was honored to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Supplier Diversity Workshop in Washington. Our panel discussed why supplier diversity is good for both the supplier and the company or government agency that relies on their services. The FCC has been a leader in ensuring minority participation in the communications sector, as evidenced by this workshop and other programs the FCC offers.

I was also honored to be named to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’s Center for Indian Country Development’s Leadership Council. The CICD assists self-governing communities of American Indians in attaining their economic development goals by focusing on key issues such as land, housing and homeownership, education, and business and entrepreneurship. Members of the Leadership Council provide guidance and advice on economic and social indicators throughout Indian Country, as well diverse perspectives on American Indian communities that are vital to the CICD’s work.

These positions help me advocate for Indian Country and make sure our community has a seat at the table for important socioeconomic discussions that affect our tribes, businesses, and entrepreneurs.

We’re also excited about what’s in store for the National Center in July. We will host our first-ever Native Edge Institute at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque on July 24th. The Native Edge Institute will provide both growing and advanced government contractors training in federal and corporate small business programs, including how firms can leverage those programs to enter the supply chain of larger prime contractors. The NEI is supported through a generous donation from Key Bank Foundation and is being hosted in collaboration with the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico. High-level officials from the U.S. Department of Energy are expected to participate in NEI.

The National Center hopes you will join us for our first Native Edge Institute, which is now open for registration. This is the inaugural event of several one-day events designed to give concentrated, one-on-one training and advice to aspiring business leaders.

You can find more information about the Native Edge Institute in this newsletter and on our website, and I hope you’ll take the time to learn about some of the other great things going on at the National Center. I look forward to talking with you again next month.

Sincerely,

Chris James