Support for Tribal Staff

How was this initiative born? Tribal members of the Society for Range Management’s Native American Rangeland Advisory Committee (NARAC), along with many Tribal representatives who helped build this model through focus groups, indicated that they wanted culturally relevant rangeland management training and capacity building for tribal staff. As tribal governments pursue self-determination in the management of their own natural resources, meeting the capacity building needs for their workforce will be critical. In addition, tribal range managers often need practical and engaging educational tools that are appropriate for their communities and tribal council members.

Support for Tribal Colleges

For some tribal colleges, natural resources programs can be costly, particularly because there are so many specializations that might require additional faculty members. Because of this, tribal students may not have access to courses that are required for federal, state, or tribal employment. This program was developed to help provide support for TCU’s that would like help in teaching rangeland management courses, or building their own programs.

Project Goals

Between 2017 and 2021, funding was acquired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Forest Service to conduct a 4-year pilot project that would jump-start the Native American Rangelands Partnership through the following activities:

  • Rangeland training courses and field workshops tailored for tribal/regional needs;
  • Rangeland management tool-kits for outreach in both Native American and Hispano land-based communities;
  • Inter-tribal informational website on rangeland management; and
  • Evaluation for an accredited online soil and rangeland ecology course for tribal students.

However, during this pilot period, we learned many lessons on the needs of Tribal governments and their staff, along with those at Tribal Colleges and Universities. Through their input, this project is now being “indigenized” and revised significantly and will continued to be hosted through the Native American Rangelands Partnership, but will be funded and hosted by Salish Kootenai College. We expect to launch our new initiative during fall of 2024.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Hall, location MHA Nation, North Dakota