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Our Core Service Areas

We know that all four areas are essential to tribes’ continued sovereignty and wellbeing, and this work–in addition to the clients we work with–energizes us. This is what inspires us to bring a thoughtful yet lighthearted approach to every problem we work to solve. 

Feel free to poke around our website to learn more about the dozens of projects we’ve been a part of from the Pacific Northwest, to Alaska, to New York, to Louisiana and beyond.

1

Economy and Governance

At TWG, we partner closely with leadership, listen to the community, and acknowledge the expertise of your staff.

2

Court and Justice

Tribal justice systems are a bedrock of tribal sovereignty.

3

Training and Facilitation

We’ve got you covered with just about any style of training you might need.

4

Tribal Engagements

Our tribal engagements are grounded in historical and contemporary context.

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Economy and Governance

With decades of experience making successful tribal corporations more robust and breathing life back into struggling money-makers, TWG can partner with you to strategically maximize your governmental advantages as a tribe through individual consulting, pathfinding processes, or economic development strategies. Oh, and if taxes in Indian Country are a question, you’ve found your PNW expert: we love talking about taxes. 

 

When it comes to tribal governance, all of our work centers around tribal sovereignty and self-determination. That said, we know firsthand that tribal governance is a difficult task, filled with hidden landmines, unanticipated missteps, and constant changes (staffing, legal landscapes, and leadership philosophies, just to name a few). At TWG, we partner closely with leadership, listen to the community, and acknowledge the expertise of staff. These projects often look like strategic plans, facilitation, and usually involve creating a process to get a tribal government from A to B with community buy-in and support. 

 

So if your tribal corporation is stuck, your government is in a pickle,  or you want to do something that no one else has ever done before, let’s partner. Nothing makes Bob Whitener more excited than a new challenge–well, except maybe an old beat-up boat ready to be brought back to life. 

Mescalero Apache

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

Completed a robust and comprehensive economic development plan for the tribe in accordance with the Federal Economic Development Authority’s requirements CEDS.

The Samish Nation

Section 17 Corp Set Up and Policy Development 

Assisted in revitalization of the Samish Nations Section 17 Native Corporation, Samcorp, and the development of corresponding economic enterprises.

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Court and Justice

Tribal justice systems are a bedrock of tribal sovereignty.  Through the Tribal Justice Support Directorate, we have assessed over 90 tribal courts across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.  We have also performed court assessments on tribal courts in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest via individual contracts.  Our assessors are strength-based and solution-oriented.  In every assessment, we work hard to partner with the court and community to gain a 360 degree understanding of how the court works, how the community feels, and how the tribal government can leverage available assets (or even access new ones!) to better serve its members. 

 

But wait, there’s more! We don’t just do assessments. We have also worked with tribal courts across the country to develop strategic plans, draft culturally specific codes, design clerk’s manuals and benchbooks specific to the tribe, incorporate trauma-informed methods into courts practices, train judges, and set up Healing to Wellness courts. 

 

Just like Judge Ron Whitener always takes the time to determine which defendant needs to be ordered to chop wood and which defendant needs to be ordered to write an essay, he can’t wait to work with you to learn about the nuances of your court and community and figure out the best possible “order” for success. 

Office of Tribal Justice Support
Bureau of Indian Affairs

Alaska and NW Court Assessments

Through a contract with BIA, TWG performs court assessments pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3612 with 15 Alaska Tribes and 6 Pacific Northwest Tribes each year to identify specific personnel, policy, infrastructure, and technical assistance needs of Tribal courts.

Native Village of Kasaan

Court Development Support

TWG partnered with the Native Village of Kasaan to facilitate an iterative process which led to the creation of a Court Strategic plan, a Judicial Code, and a Juvenile Justice Code.

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Training and Facilitation

This one is a doozy–but oh-so-important. Whether you want us to provide technical support to your in-person, virtual, or hybrid training event, or you want us to design, present, and support your multi-day training event, we’ve got you covered. We have an impressive in-house roster of speakers we work with on the regular. If you are the presenters, no problem: we’ll pack the skills to bring it all together.

 

Our Olympia headquarters houses a state-of-the-art training room. We’ve also traveled all over the country (the UP of Michigan, the Mountains of Montana, the tables of the Department of Interior) to put on everything from webinars to two hour trainings to multi-day conferences.  This means we’re equipped to send our experts to you and provide 1:1 or 1:10 training in your boardroom, courtroom, or back office to hone in on whatever concerns your tribe or organization are facing. Whether you need a legal ethics refresher, help on a cigarette compact, or a group tech tutorial, we’re ready to support you; and in the case that you’re looking for something virtual, we have top-notch skills when it comes to online curriculum. 

 

In the way of facilitation, if you need a strategic plan to have a tough conversation or to work through difficult choices, our professional facilitators come ready with pockets full of activities to get people thinking, moving, and making big decisions. 

 

As with everything we do, knowing the audience while making things approachable and interactive is at the center of our work.  Go ahead, send us a project idea so Jenn Whitener Ulrich has the excuse she has been waiting for to learn everything there is to know about [insert the very important, very niche area of training you are looking for here]. 

Bay Mills Indian Community

Noojimo’iwewin: The VAWA and ICWA Training

Planning and supporting a multi-day, skill-building, hybrid conference about domestic violence and Indian child welfare with local and national expert trainers.

California ICWA Institute

Meeting Report & Strategic Plan

Facilitating a one-day strategic planning meeting of numerous child dependency legal experts, then drafting and presenting a strategic plan to help the organization protect the validity of the Indian Child Welfare Act and promote its longevity.

Facilitation activities

Tribal Engagements

For those unfamiliar with Indian Country, grasping the intricate dynamics of tribal engagements can be a challenge. Every relationship, whether with a community or an individual, is guaranteed to be unique. At TWG, our tribal engagements are deeply grounded in historical and contemporary context. Since our inception, we've been dedicated to supporting Native Nations as they carve their own paths and building connections with like-minded organizations who strive for more meaningful relationships with tribes and tribal organizations.

 

Whether you're in need of general training or strategic consultation to more effectively collaborate, we're here to offer guidance along the way.

The Nature Conservancy

Indian Country 101

Creating an online, interactive, at-your-own-pace training for non-Natives on the History of Indian Country and how to work with modern Tribal Governments and Native people.

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