Native American Advisory Board Minutes Back »

October 2012 Meeting


From your perspective, what are the challenges facing the Native American communities in the next 2-5 years?

  • Financial infrastructure
  • Financial literacy
  • Creating the learning environment/messaging and tools to encourage people tp pursue self-sufficiency (entrepreneurial spirit).
  • Inconsistencies with tribal leadership; turn-over, program continuation.
  • Healing (historical/cultural); to allow people to move beyond dependency mode (build pride, esp. among youth)
  • Access to consistent quality education, K-12
  • Food sovereignty; food safety
  • Retain or return skilled young people back to reservations (available opportunities to attract them.
  • Workforce skills (youth and adults)
  • Health (obesity, diabetes, dental, ob/gyn)
  • Reconnection with the land (as both the tradition and economic driver)-broader base of localized utilization of land

How can SDSU Extension address these challenges?

  • Be flexible in scheduling; have the ability to react to shared programming opportunities with partners.
  • Business planning collaboration with local entities for orgs and individuals.
  • SDSU needs to continually work to build (and refresh) trust. Work closely with tribal colleges, tribal government and other leadership orgs (Build partnerships!) Get down to the basic level “Dig in the Dirt”. Physically go there!
  • Don’t be a ‘carpet-bagger’. Be sure that staff comprehends the realities of life on reservation and within other NA communities. Use tribal colleges as full partners. Don’t go in as ‘saviors’. Be cognizant of history of land and culture (what was here before pioneer settlement)
  • Curricula for life skills, character education. Partner with schools, school boards, etc.
  • EFNEP program, Gardens, First Nations Food Sovereignty Assessment tool. (partner on grants that are Land Grant based).
  • Workforce skills training; (coupled with partner businesses for employment)
  • Health and fitness training with youth and adults.
  • More ag programs, seek a more broad-based attendance. Extension can play a big role in educating youth about AG opportunities. Extension can also plug into existing vibrant youth horse cultural activities.
  • Value-added enterprises (crops/livestock, hort produce, other... )
  • Enterprise agriculture (new position)

What does success for South Dakota’s future look like?

  • Healthy communities, Native American communities as progressive as non-Native communities; All SD people would have similar opportunities, and no greater challenges.
  • Build on growing foundation of success. (CDFI’s)

How can SDSU Extension partner with others to help insure realization of this future?

  • Partnering – collaborating on opportunities to leverage resources. Be visible. Build the brand locally; ensure that people recognize SDSU as a resource.

What role should SDSU Extension play in significant societal issues that impact the Native American community? What societal issues are of critical importance?

  • Poverty alleviation (Sustainable prosperity)


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