Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute


EILI Delegation Prepares for United Nations Meetings
EILI students including Cody Harry, Sara Twiss, Autumn Harry, Rubina Dann, Miles Harry, Esha Hofferer, and Jordan Harry are preparing to participate in the upcoming North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus preparatory meeting to be held in March 20-22, 2015 in Rapid City SD.  These students will also plan to attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 14th Session, in NY in April 2015.

The Center for Native American Youth, profiles the achievements of EILI graduate, Autumn Harry.  See the profile here. Autumn, a graduate of the 2012/13 cohort of the EILI, and has followed her passion for the protection of the environment.  We’re very proud of her achievements! 

EILI Delegation Travels to United Nations
EILI students including Cody Harry, Sara Twiss, Autumn Harry and Jordan Harry participated in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th Session, in NY in May 2014.  In April, these EILI poenabe attended a preparatory training session for young Indigenous leaders co-sponsored by the EILI and  the Fourth World Center on Law and Politics at the University of Colorado, Denver.  As a team, they were well prepared to participate in the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus and the issues undertaken in the PF.

Dr. Debra Harry Honored with American Indian Achievement Award 2013
Dr. Debra Harry was honored with an American Indian Youth Services/Role Model of the Year Award for her advocacy of human rights and cultivation of a new generation of leadership committed to the protection and perpetuation of the rights, culture and lifeways of indigenous peoples in the Great Basin.  The Nevada Indian Commission will hold the award banquet on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City.  
EILI Students, Sara Twiss, Cody Harry and Patrick Burtt Release their Film on the EILI.  
Film Title:  Pesa Nadayadu Poenabe Madabwe - Making Good Strong Leaders
Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute
Length:  15:29
Directed and Produced by:  Sara Twiss, Cody Harry and Patrick Burtt

The film, Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute, explores an culture-based pedagogy designed to cultivate a new generation of Indigenous leaders among the Numu, Newe, and Washsheshu Peoples in the Great Basin region. Directed by three graduates of the program, this film captures the experience of young Indigenous leaders with an Indigenous-centered pedagogy and how that experience has transformed their lives.
Click here to view the film or paste the following url into your browser:

EILI Delegation travels to the United Nations in New York in May 2013
A delegation of seven EILI students will travel to New York to attend the 12th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) the week of May 20-24, 2013.  In their second course, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: International and Domestic Contexts, the students learned about advancing Indigenous Peoples’ rights in international fora.  Their participation in the UNPFII will serve as an important practicum to their course work.  The students attending the UNPFII include: Sara Twiss, Cody Harry, Miles Harry, Rubina Dann, Autumn Harry, Patrick Burtt, and Jordan Harry.  They will be active participants and contribute to various issues under discussion at the United Nations. 

The EILI Student Graduation Celebration and Film Screening
We’re please to announce the 2013 EILI Student Cohort will have their graduation celebration and premiere screening of the their video film projects on May 30, 2013 at the Joe Crowley Student Union, Room 402 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.  Of course, refreshments will be served.  We look forward to celebrating this special time with all of our friends and families!  Please join us.

EILI Course 6- Non-Profits and Alternative Models for Community Development
The EILI students welcomed back Mike Myers to work with our own faculty to learn about Indigenous development principles, strategic planning, non-profit and other organizational models, and fund raising on April 18-21, 2013. 

EILI Course 5 - Sustainable Indigenous Families and Communities
The EILI students welcomed Indigenous experts Waziyatawin (Dakota) and Deborah Tewa (Hopi) to learn about climate change, energy dependance and liberation technologies such as the use of solar energy to meet energy needs.

EILI Course 4 - Indigenous Centered Education
The EILI Students welcomed Dr. Leonie Pihama, a Maori scholar, film maker, and activist who served as lead faculty for the course focusing on Indigenous-Centered Education.  The students studied our educational experiences from historical and contemporary times, and the significant advances Maori have made in education and language revitalization.  Other aspects of this course will examine Indigenous theory and research.  

IPCB-EILI Idle No-More Teach-In at the University of Nevada, Reno, Feb. 15, 2013

EILI Course 3 - Indigenous Wellness and Healthy Communities
The EILI students completed a 4-day session on the exploring the themes of wellness and healthy communities.  The course features visiting faculty, Laura Calmwind, Anishinaabe spiritual leader and Indigenous rights activist, and Sharon Venn, Cree attorney.  The students also began their training as producers of digital video with lead faculty, Jason Corwin, Seneca digital video expert.  The EILI also co-sponsored a special event titled “Idle No More Teach-In” at the University of Nevada, Reno on Thursday, January 17th at 6:00 pm.  The event was well attended.

EILI Completes Course 2 Indigenous Peoples Rights: international and Domestic Contexts
The EILI students participated in an amazing course that explored several critical areas including Numu inherent rights, treaty rights, the doctrine of discovery, the Marshall Trilogy, and Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy in international fora.  This course is foundational to students’ knowledge base as emerging Numu leaders.  Visiting faculty including Sharon Venne, Glenn Morris, and special guests Julie Cavanaugh-Bill and Larson Bill all shared their expertise with the students.  The students received a generous one-year gift subscription from the good folks at Yes! Magazine.  Thank you Fran and David Korten, Sarah Van Gelder, Rod Araki, and Tanya Dawkins!  


EILI Prepares for Course 2 - Indigenous Peoples Rights: International and Domestic Contexts
The EILI will host two leading Indigenous legal experts who will serve as lead faculty for our second course.   We are excited to have Professor Glenn Morris (Shawnee) and Sharon Venne (Cree) visit our homelands and serve as lead faculty for our upcoming course focusing on Indigenous Peoples Rights.  

We will also be honored to have Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann, and attorney Julie Cavenaugh Bill present to discuss the treaty rights issues with our students.  It is going to be a fantastic opportunity for EILI students to learn from our amazing visitors.

EILI Has the First in Series of Six New Courses - Indigenous Nation Building
The Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute held its first course, Indigenous Nation Building, on November 15-18, 2012.  The lead faculty included Mike Myers (Seneca) of the Network for Native Futures based in Bemidji, MN and a longtime expert in Indigenous Nation Building, and Waziwatawin (Dakota), a prominent speaker, author, and activist known for her work in Indigenous resurgence.  

The course on Indigenous Nation Building is the first of a series of six courses designed to strengthen the knowledge and leadership skills utilizing a unique culture-based and student-centered curriculum.  The new cohort of ten emerging Indigenous poenabe (leaders) from the region explored key topics including Numu creation stories, our history of colonization, and strategies for decolonization and nation building throughout the four day intensive session.  Students participated in small and large group discussions, role-playing, and 3-D modeling projects to explore their own visions for the future.

Past NEWS Articles

EILI Now Taking Applications for the 2012/13 Cohort!

The Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute is proud to offer Indigenous students a series of six (6) four-day courses.  The courses will take place once a month beginning on November 2012 at our offices located in South Reno, NV.  We have an exciting line up of Indigenous scholars and leaders, and cultural knowledge holders, who will serve as instructors for each of the EILI courses. The start date of the first course is November 8-11, 2012.  The application due date to October 22, 2012.

Every course will also devote time to developing student's cultural knowledge, leadership skills, and healthy living.  Additionally, students will learn the basics of digital video production throughout the duration of the courses. 

The target group of participants is young Indigenous adults from the Great Basin who are ages 18 to 30.  This program is truly unique and will offer an exciting learning opportunity for students that want to participate. 

The program EILI program is a project of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism and is generously supported by a grant from the Administration for Native Americans.

November 1, 2011
Dr. Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf joins EILI

The EILI welcomes our new Program Director, Dr. Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf, a Mohawk educator and scholar from Kahnawake, Quebec.  Dr. Goodleaf holds a doctoral degree in education from the University of Massachusetts.  She has extensive experience in curriculum development and course instruction at both the university and community levels, and most importantly, maintains a strong personal commitment to Indigenous-centered education and development.

Dr. Goodleaf's expertise in education will contribute greatly to the professional and creative development of EILI's curriculum, collaboration with faculty members, and course planning.  As well, she possesses the managerial skills to support grant implementation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The EILI has recently been awarded a two-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) grant.

This will give the program a strong base from which to develop and implement its comprehensive and Indigenous-centered leadership training program.  The program will establish an office space in the Reno area, initiate new programming for past cohorts of the EILI, and develop curriculum for new incoming students.  We are also exploring options for partnerships with local institutions such as the University of Nevada, Reno to provide more learning opportunities for the EILI students.  

Watch this website for new developments in the near future.



Pesa Nadayadu Poenabe Madabwe

(Making Good Strong Leaders)


Course 2-Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: EILI Students with lead faculty members Sharon Venne, Glenn Morris, and special guests Julie Cavanaugh-Bill and Larson Bill.

EILI delegation at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 12th Session in New York, May 2013.