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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency
5-year Strategic Plan
Facilitating a multi-day strategic planning process with the SPIPA Board, then drafting and presenting a 5-year strategic plan to help the organization grow into its next phase.
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.
Since the beginning (and partially because of our owners personal passions) we have grounded our work in Technology Sovereignty, or the ability of Native Nations to provide their communities and government agencies with the technology and communications they need to thrive. Tech and communications are connected, and always have been, to all of the work at TWG in some way. But then we realized – this stuff isn’t easy, and just like we needed help learning it, so do our clients.
So whether you need an “on-call” IT consultant or would like to have a piece of software designed to help your government or agency function to its fullest potential, Mitzie Whitener & Joshua Whitener would love to help you untangle the cords and power on.
Most recently, TWG has expanded its services to include remote and at-your-door community IT Services under the umbrella of a new subsection called the Native Nerd Network. The Native Nerd Network, with funding from the Department of Commerce, focuses on digital equity in tribal communities throughout Western Washington, providing a selection of free IT services, training, and general digital literacy guidance.