I hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday season and reflecting on the past year, as well as what lies ahead in 2019. At the National Center, we are very proud of what we’ve accomplished in 2018 and look forward to building on our progress next year. I outline some of this progress in our holiday message, including the 500 clients we’ve supported and the $300 million those clients have won in contracts in 2018. Those are bigger numbers, but they are only the beginning for the National Center and our work to advance economic development in Indian Country.

One of our innovations over the past year has been our Native Edge Institutes, or NEIs. The latest NEI took place in Anchorage – our first event to be held in the Last Frontier. NEIs are hands-on training sessions for tribal businesses and Native entrepreneurs, focused on procurement and technology. In Anchorage, we heard from our friends at Arctic IT – a Doyon, Limited company – and GovContractPros about the best strategies for moving your business in the right direction. It was a great event, only marred by the news of the earthquake that struck Alaska only a few days after the event concluded. We continue to wish a speedy recovery to those affected in Anchorage and across the state.

We were able to host NEIs in 2018 through a generous contribution from KeyBank Foundation. In 2019, we are excited to announce this programming will continue with the support of a grant from the Minority Business Development Agency at the Department of Commerce. This year we served Native communities around Albuquerque, Seattle, Tulsa, and Anchorage, and next year we’ll bring NEIs to tribal communities on the East Coast. Be on the lookout for more information about the schedule for NEIs next year.

And of course, no 2019 calendar is complete without securing your spot at the Reservation Economic Summit. Please join us from March 25 – 28 for the largest economic development event in Indian Country. This year we will move to a new location – Paris Las Vegas – and we will have new features and opportunities while also maintaining the quality programming and networking opportunities for those doing business, or seeking to do business, in Indian Country. I hope to see you there!

Again, happy holidays and thank you for your continued support of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

Sincerely,

Chris James
President and CEO