October 13, 2021

Taking Tribal Leadership Education to the Next Level

ISSUES AFFECTING INDIAN COUNTRY: Ted Gover (left) interviews Ken Ramirez, chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians during the recent event "Leadership for Seven Generations." Gover is director of CGU's Tribal Administration Certificate program.

For the nation’s many indigenous people, tribal governance is a unique and complex system that combines a tribe’s sovereign powers with the various congressional acts, treaties, and other statutes that affect their way of life.

What does the future of such governance look like? How might Indian Country be affected?

Those are two questions considered by students in Claremont Graduate University’s Tribal Administration Program during the event “Leadership for Seven Generations,” which was held last month.

The discussion was led by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chair Ken Ramirez and served as a Tribal dialogue between Ramirez and CGU to further educate students about the nature of Tribal government.

The event provided students with a critical chance to understand the most pressing issues affecting tribal leadership today as reflected by the experiences of San Manuel, which is a federally recognized tribe of Serrano people in San Bernardino County.

“Chair Ken Ramirez empowered our students to learn from San Manuel’s history and its leadership in the fields of education, community engagement and strategic philanthropy,” said Ted Gover, who is the director of the Tribal Administration Certificate Program at CGU.

SUCCESSFUL EVENT: Participants in the “Leadership for Seven Generations” event.

The event included discussions around a wide array of topics including Tribal health, leadership, Tribal government, and the role of education and responsibilities to Tribal citizens of future generations. The Tribe has played a central role in supporting CGU’s development of the tribal administration program as well as recently joining into a partnership with the university to establish the pioneering new Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies on campus.

In addition to Ramirez’s participation, Gover also expressed thanks to San Manuel Business Committee Member Alexis Manzano for her involvement in the successful event.

The program’s students, who are also Tribal employees, were able to ask questions and engage in an open dialogue about the responsibilities of Tribal government.

“This very special event with the Chair was an invaluable opportunity to hear about the important responsibilities of Tribal government and all the impactful work that San Manuel is doing to provide for future generations and protect Tribal sovereignty,” said Gover.