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Program advances Native American fiscal systems, management

May 19, 2010

ASU's American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) in conjunction with the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) conducted the second class of the Tribal Financial Manager Certificate program. The course took place May 18-20, at ASU's Tempe campus. The sold-out program gathered 25 participants from 15 American Indian tribal nations from throughout the United States.

AIPI and NAFOA have been working together since early 2009 to provide tribal financial managers the essential policy and technical tools to manage fiscal systems within the context of American Indian government and enterprise operations. The certificate program also provides Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through NAFOA. NAFOA is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors.

“All tribal services and programs are dependent on quality fiscal management whether it is paid for by tribally generated revenues or outside grants," said Eddie Brown, executive director of AIPI (Pascua Yaqui & Tohono O’odham Nation). "Participating in the Tribal Financial Manager Certificate program is one way that tribes can ensure that they are maintaining high standards in their fiduciary responsibilities.”

Tribal nation participants for the May 2010 program included: Colorado River Indian Tribes, Eastern Shoshone Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Hualapai Nation, Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Navajo Nation, Organized Village of Kake, Pueblo of Laguna, Round Valley, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Squaxin Island Tribe, Susanville Rancheria and Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.

“We are pleased that this program is in such high demand," said William Lomax (Gitxsan Nation), president of NAFOA. "Tribal nations recognize the link between sound fiscal systems and the strengthening of tribal sovereignty. By learning and implementing financial best practices, we improve our ability to meet the needs of our tribal members.”

The first Tribal Financial Managers Certificate program took place in September 2009. The program's exposure at NAFOA’s national conference in March 2010 helped create a demand for the latest program launch.

The AIPI is committed to tribally-driven participatory research and develops programs to support tribal capacity building. For more information on all AIPI programs visit

The Native American Finance Officers Association is based out of Phoenix. Tashina Etter (Navajo) is the deputy executive director. NAFOA’s mission is to improve the quality of financial and business management of tribal governments, their entities and their businesses. Visit NAFOA's website for more details: