Building healing and lasting change through a transformative culturally-based leadership program

Our Indigenous Leadership work is comprised of various length trainings, workshops, and longer-formatted camps, all of which focus on building leadership rooted in responsibility to community and utilizing strategies grounded in Indigenous knowledge and decolonizing frameworks. Our trainings are not exclusive to Indigenous leaders, rather our leadership model is shaped from an Indigenous worldview and uplifting of place-based knowledge. We believe it is essential for community organizers and leaders to build culturally-based community organizing practices, root-cause analysis, intersectionality, and self-transformation. We strive to adhere to the traditional values of the peoples whose ancestral lands we are on as we move forward with our work for social justice. Additionally, understanding power and privilege structures of colonialism, institutional racism, class, gender, and political-economic systems are foundational for meaningful, healing, and long-lasting solutions to be implemented. We strive to build healing practices into our work and our lives.

Trainings and Workshops:

Listed below are brief descriptions of a few trainings we have hosted recently. All our trainings utilize a range of possible activities and discussions designed for participants from a diversity of ages and backgrounds.

Decolonizing Framework and Strategies. Decolonizing strategies require recognition of the history of colonization and its current manifestations. This training briefly covers United States Federal Indian Policy carried out in the "lower 48" and expands into Alaska’s policy implications on Alaska Native peoples. This training then delves into the spectrum of decolonizing strategies; from various personal, institutional, and systemic pathways forward.

Just Transition Framework. Just Transition builds a common language across various sectors of work (environmental, labor, conservation, academia, etc.) from which we can endeavor to build greater collective power. This training builds collective understandings of root causes of communal ills and a regenerative vision of the future while building a collective understanding of a transitional path forward.

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Building People Powered Campaigns for Justice: This training goes through some of the basics of community organizing and how to build collective strategies that analyze community problems to find tangible solutions. This training can include vision and mission building, campaign planning, power mapping, SMARTI, base building, media tools, public speaking, and facilitation skill building.

Grassroots Feminism & Gender Dialogue: This session connects patriarchy and colonialism as one of the means by which we understand Indigenous Feminism. We explore the harmful impacts of patriarchy and the many forms of feminism. We unpack modern LGBTQ and gender terminology; and we build discussions around Indigenous gender concepts. The goal of this session is to create a safe and empowering space to build greater understanding of gender, sexuality, and the many forms of feminism.

Cross-Cultural Communications. This training helps participants to see the world from another’s life experience and viewpoint, and challenges each of us to use self-reflection to improve our communications across cultures. We work on high and low context communications skills that help us to understand how we learn, how we define culture, what communication looks like in collectivist and individualistic cultures, and help us identify our own communication styles. The goal is to become empowered to engage in open and respectful conversations.

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Justice: Dismantling Oppressive Power & Privilege. Understanding unseen privileges and how that relates to power dynamics is critical to untangling and dismantling harmful systems of oppression. How is environmental justice different from environmentalism? How are Indigenous Peoples rights related to social justice? How does grassroots feminism relate to our work? What does building equity and alignment among allies look like and how can we more meaningfully build solidarity movements?

Building Meaningful Partnerships and Solidarity. What does “intersectionality” mean and what does it look like? How can we build coalitions and partnerships that go beyond the transactional? How can we work with allies in a clear and trusting way in order to further our collective vision? This training goes through a number of tools for building trust, understanding our roles, and determining our place in the spectrum of work that needs to be done.

Art for Action Skill Build. This is a workshop that supports various art builds and techniques for “front loading” art into campaign messaging. This can take shape in various mediums from film to theater to visual arts. Concise messaging along with group collaboration tools are key to Art for Action. Depending on the time frame for this workshop we can get into some hands on skill building time, everything from Do It Yourself Banner Making skills to spray paint techniques.

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Non-Violent Direct Action Planning and Implementation. In carrying out successful campaigns NVDA is a useful tactic to be skilled in. There are many forms NVDA from protests or rallies to sit-ins and lock downs. This training give some tools for finding collective agreement on what types of NVDA tactics are strategic. This training includes how to organize and implement various types of actions, how to de-escalate situations, how to build strategic escalation plans, and many other important things to think about when utilizing NVDA tactics.

Northern Organizer Summits

We have hosted two annual camps at the Howard Luke Gaalee’ya center on the banks of the Tanana River outside of Fairbanks, AK.


This past year's camp focused on Art in Action! Art can be both a reflection of the world surrounding and a critical tool for re-shaping worldview. As we work to build a better world, we must dig our hands and our hearts into the essential creation of art — Art that Reflects and Art that Reshapes! 40 Alaska community organizers, their children, and an amazing support team spent four days together at the beautiful Howard Luke Gaalee’ya center on the banks of the Tanana River outside of Fairbanks, AK. The camp is designed to be a healing space, grounded in Decolonizing  & Just Transition frameworks. Additionally, participants choose from one of three art tracks: Visual Arts, Theater Arts, & Digital Arts.

COMING SOON: Check out some of this year's Digital Arts short film creations!

Thanks to photographer Keri Oberly for many of these photos!

2017: 1st annual Northern Organizers Summit

This camp was carried out in partnership with the Gwichin Steering Committee and the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, with training support from Movement Generation and IP3.