Career Resources for Native Americans, First Nations, American Indian, Pacific Island, Alaska Native Peoples.
Native American Professional Associations by Industry
Professional associations are groups of professionals dedicated to topics in specific fields. Professional associations provide a wealth of online resources, some of which are geared specifically towards students. These organizations typically also host conferences and events, providing great opportunities for learning and networking across your field of interest.
You may want to become involved with one or more of these organizations to grow your network in the field, to be connected to job and internship opportunities, to utilize their library of resources to learn more about the field, and to participate in conferences and events sponsored by the association.
Arts and Entertainment
- Indian Arts and Crafts Association works to support the effective protection, ethical promotion of authentic Native American art, and preservation of material culture has helped to instill confidence in the consumer marketplace.
- Native Arts and Culture Foundation advances equity and cultural knowledge, focusing on the power of arts and collaboration to strengthen Native communities and promote positive social change with American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples in the United States.
- American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) mission of AIBL is to increase the representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in business and entrepreneurial ventures through education and leadership development opportunities.
- The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) works to expand the American Indian private sector, increase the number of tribal businesses, and positively impact reservation communities by creating relationships between Indian enterprises and private industry.
- American Indian Business Alliance designed to provide Native American-owned businesses with a way to market their products and services to prospective buyers, including other American Indian-owned firms, government agencies, tribes, corporations and foundations.
- Native American Capital committed to actively promoting economic development in Native American communities by providing consulting services that help tribes overcome regulatory. Financing, logistical, and other barriers to starting and growing successful businesses.
- Native American Financial Official Association (NAFOA) Through its work in growing tribal economies and strengthening tribal finance NAFOA supports the advancement of independent and culturally vibrant American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
- Native American Financial Services Association Mission is to advocate for tribal sovereignty, promote responsible financial services, and provide better economic opportunity in Indian Country for the benefit of tribal communities.
- Native Americans in Philanthropy The mission is to promote equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities.
- Native American Journalists Association serves and empowers Native American journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures.
- Native American Public Telecommunications founded in 1976 to advance Native media that represents the values, experiences, histories and cultures of Tribal Nations, communities and peoples.
- Native Public Media provides services that encourage the expansion and strengthening of Native media through platforms that are community-based, local, and democratic.
- National Indian Education Association brings Native educators together with hopes to improve schools and the education of children.
American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) works to help ensure that the principle of tribal sovereignty is recognized and respected and that TCUs are equitably included in this nation's higher education system.
- National Indian Childcare Association The mission of the National Indian Child Care Association is to promote high quality culturally relevant child care and development and to unify tribes and tribal organizations by providing leadership, support and advocacy on behalf of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
- Indian Nations Conservation Alliance fosters Native Agriculture by helping tribal farmers and ranchers to care for and strengthen the circle of life.
- Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals at Northern Arizona University strengthens tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and natural resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships and policy-based services.
- Native American Fish and Wildlife Society mission is to assist Native American and Alaska Native Tribes with the conservation, protection, and enhancement of their fish and wildlife resources.
- Native American Water Association founded to provide Tribal water and wastewater operators, managers, utility commissions and Tribal leadership with continued training and technical assistance in their goals to strengthen tribal sovereignty and Self-determination and protect health and environment in Indian Country.
- National Tribal Air Association mission of the NTAA is to advance air quality management policies and programs, consistent with the needs, interests, and unique legal status of American Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives.
- Traditional Native American Farmers Association mission is to revitalize traditional agriculture for spiritual and human need, by creating awareness and support for Native environmental issues.
- Intertribal Agriculture Council was founded to pursue and promote the conservation, development and use of our agricultural resources for the betterment of our people.
- National Caucus of Native American State Legislators works to promote a better understanding of state-tribal issues among policymakers and the public at large.
- Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) the first national non-profit organization representing American Indian and Alaska Native Federal, Tribal, State, and local government employees to promote recruitment, retention, and advancement of American Indian and Alaska Native Government Employees, and work to ensure equal treatment under the law
- National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA) unites American Indian/Alaska Native nurses and those who care for AN/AI people to improve the health and well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native people.
- Association of American Indian Physicians aims to increase the number of Native American medical practitioners, and improve the overall health of the community.
Law, Law Enforcement, Public Service
- National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) serves as the national association for Native American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students.
- National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) promotes and foster mutual cooperation between Native American law enforcement officers, agents and personnel, their agencies, tribes, private industry and public.
- National Native American Law Students Association founded to support law students who are interested in the study of Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, and traditional forms of governance.
Science and Engineering
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society is a national nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.
- National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering offers scholarships, career support, and institutional partnerships to help Black, Native, and Latinx Americans launch successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- SACNAS - Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science an inclusive organization of 6,000+ members dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers.
- Natives in Tech Mission is to build a collective of Native technologists crafting free and open source technology for Native peoples.
- Sisterhood of Native American Coders creates access and exposure to the field of computer science (CS) to address the disparities in opportunities to learn for underrepresented Native American girls.
- Wonder Women Tech Mission is to highlight, celebrate, educate, and amplify Women, BIPOC, and the Underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math (STEAM) and Innovation.
- Native American Contractors Association mission is to enrich self-determination through preservation of government contracting participation based on the unique relationship between Native Americans and the federal government.
The following associations are less professional associations by industry and more advocacy associations for Latinx rights and equity. They may be valuable for information and participation, as well as for leadership training, legal information, knowledge of opportunities, and career assistance.
- Americans for Indian Opportunity advances, from an Indigenous worldview, the cultural, political and economic rights of Indigenous peoples in the United States and around the world.
- American Indian/Alaska Native Employees Association for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to strengthen the NRCS mission by fostering the recruitment, retention, professional development, and career advancement of American Indians and Alaska Natives within NRCS and other federal agencies.
- Council for Tribal Employment Rights represents the interests of over 300 Tribal and Alaska Native Villages that are covered by employment rights ordinances.
- Intertribal Transportation Association promotes training, advocacy, inform and facilitate meetings between Tribes and local, state and federal agencies to enhance Transportation Infrastructure throughout Tribal Nations
Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations - WEWIN Mission to strengthen and sustain tribal cultures for the benefit and destiny of the children; educate about tribal cultures, the history of native people, the inherent rights we exercise for the good of our people and others, and of current issues that affect our well-being.
First Nations Development Institute – This organization’s mission is to strengthen American Indian economies and support healthy Native communities. This is accomplished by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.
College Horizons, Students - This is a program designed for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian high school sophomores and juniors. The College Horizons organization is deeply committed to helping students like you become experts on the college application and admissions process. This is accomplished by offering a summer admissions workshop focused on demystifying the college application process and exploring college options for Native students.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education - The mission of the Office of Indian Education is to support the efforts of local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities to meet the unique cultural, language, and educational needs of such students; and ensure that all students meet the challenging State academic standards.
Center for Community College Student Engagement, Student Experiences at Tribal Colleges – For American Indian and Alaska Native students, an environment where kinship and history provide the foundation of learning is important to educational outcomes. Tribal colleges and universities can be explored in this .pdf file sponsored by CCCSE.
Institute of Education Science, Preparing American Indian Students for College and Career Readiness – Testing and test preparation guides, data, facts, curriculum, planning, and more are available by the IES in the form of a .pdf file for prospective college student preparation while finishing up the high school years.
Jobs and Grants
USA Jobs, Native Americans – If you are an American Indian or an Alaskan Native who is also a member of one of the federally recognized tribes, you may be eligible for Indian Preference in your job search. This webpage of the US Government USA Jobs website will help you to determine eligibility and to find a respective job.
U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, Jobs – This division serves federally recognized tribal governments to operate programs that benefit their communities. There are opportunities to join the ranks of the Indian Affairs mission via employment, leadership training and internships.
Networking and Associations
Indigenous World – This organization is an accessible online resource for engaging the unique arts, cultures, ideas and identities of original peoples. It is powered and supported by the expertise and unity of Native peoples.
American Indigenous Business Leaders - AIBL was designed by American Indigenous business and education leaders to focus on promoting opportunities for American Indian students.
ColorComm - ColorComm is an essential organization for women of color in all areas of communications including Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Advertising Print Media, Broadcast, Digital and more.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society – This organization was founded in 1977 and currently has over 5,600 members. It aims to promote high standards of education and professional excellence to widen the STEM workforce and grow sector support.
Administration for Native Americans - ANA supports Native American communities by providing financial assistance and capacity building, gathering and sharing data, and advocating for improved policies within Health and Human Services and across the federal government.
First in the Family –You may want to take a look at this website and check out the tips, planning checklists, videos, hard facts and words of inspiration from first generation students who have gone before you.
National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA) – NANAINA is a committed group of persons from every corner of the country, dedicated to the health and well-being of the American Indian and Alaska Native people. Their members are nurses, non-nurses, serving or not in communities and programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Native American Financial Official Association (NAFOA) – This organization’s mission is to improve the quality of financial and business management of tribal governments, their entities and their businesses.
Startups and Entrepreneurs
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program - The primary remedial goal and objective of the DBE program is to level the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.
Native American Business Incubator Network – This organization offers workshops and a boot camp for would-be entrepreneurs using a cohort model. A digital networking platform provides access to other Native American entrepreneurs and mentors.
SBA, Office of Native Affairs – This federal government office has as its mission to ensure that American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses have full access to the necessary business development and expansion tools available through the Agency’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs.
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development – Here is an organization that may be able to help guide you in your business venture. It aims to actively engage in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals. This organization is dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.
Tribal Link Foundation - The Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program supported by the Tribal Link Foundation is comprised of two pillars: working with indigenous peoples to develop livelihood strategies such as entrepreneurial ideas and projects, and assisting with capacity building, training, and support to bring their products to market.