Last month, the National Center hosted our first Native Edge Institute at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This one-day event brought in experts in federal contracting, and was geared to professionals who work in the field but want to get the latest trends and changes to the federal contracting system. We received some really positive feedback from the event, and I encourage you to read the recap of the event from our procurement specialist Adolfo Vasquez, which is also included in this month’s newsletter. We thank the KeyBank Foundation for making the Native Edge Institute possible, as well as GovContractPros for facilitating the event and lending their expertise.

I could not be at the New Mexico Native Edge Institute because I was asked to testify before the House Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee regarding important federal legislation for Indian Country economic development. I was joined by my friend Mike Anderson, Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association, to discuss why The Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act and the Native American Business Incubators Programs Act would be important steps forward to improve economic conditions in Indian Country. Both bills passed the Senate without opposition, but the next step in the process is House passage. I look forward to continuing to work with the Committee, our allies that support this legislation, and others to ensure these bills become law as soon as possible. If you’d like to watch video of the hearing, please click here.

While August may be the dog days of summer for some, it remains quite busy at the National Center. On August 23rd, we will host our second Native Edge Institute, this time at Microsoft’s headquarters just outside of Seattle. This NEI will focus on technology, covering the latest on the dark web, and exactly what tribes and tribally owned businesses can do to protect their assets. In addition, we will look at how technology can improve quality of life and greatly enhance user experience. We are proud to present this NEI in partnership with Arctic IT, a Doyon Limited company. There is still time and space available to register, but don’t delay! We hope to see you in a couple of weeks in Seattle.

Speaking of the Native Edge, we are currently in the process of revamping the interactive online portal where Indian Country comes to do business. But, we want to hear feedback from you to ensure that we are designing a platform that meets your needs. We are currently conducting a survey to betting understand current and future users. We hope you fill out the brief survey and enter a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Don’t delay – survey closes on September 7th. Click here to take the survey!

And finally, for the sixth year in a row, the National Center’s American Indian Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) received a “Outstanding” Rating from Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA). The PTAC received ratings of “Outstanding” in all performance categories, which cover the performance, management, technical, and financial operations of the PTAC. We are incredibly proud of our team at the PTAC and the work they do to assistance the businesses that drive our communities.


Again, thank you for your support of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. I look forward to talking to you in the near future.


Chris James