Native Community Development Institute

MHP’s Native Community Development Institute supports and strengthens the capacity of Native communities to reach their community development goals through collaborative trainings, peer-to-peer workshops, and customized assistance.

Participating Native tribes build teams that convene stakeholders from across sectors to identify and tackle a project that addresses a pressing need in their community. Over 18 months, these teams participate in MHP-facilitated trainings and meet regularly to create a project plan. Past projects include building a supportive housing complex, creating a center for workforce development, updating a land use plan, building a deep winter greenhouse, implementing a community needs assessment and developing partnerships to support hard-to-house individuals with wraparound services.

Key Components of the Native Community Development Institute

Meet Community Development Needs

NCDI’s Leech Lake Team

Each team identifies a critical community need on which to focus. Workshops and customized assistance give teams the resources and support needed to launch their project.

Institute participation::

  • Strengthens leadership and collaboration across sectors.
  • Builds team experience working across a wide range of development areas: housing, infrastructure, job creation, and economic and community development.
  • Helps tribal teams facilitate greater community investment in their projects.

Deepen cross-sector partnerships

Ambitious outcomes – a stronger economy, a healthier environment, and greater opportunity – demand strong collaborative efforts across tribal departments and sectors at the local and state level. The Institute breaks down divisions of land use, transportation, and housing and economic development. Working across issue areas, teams:

  • Find win-win solutions to commonly held problems
  • Avoid working at cross-purposes in isolation
  • Learn from other’s experience and knowledge
  • Combine resources to take on new projects

Leveraging resources

Workshops position Native communities to capture local, state, and national resources to create and preserve community development projects. Teams have the opportunity to network with and receive feedback from funders. These connections provide greater clarity and ultimately strengthen funding proposals. Teams leverage resources by:

  • Sharing existing resources
  • Reducing competition for limited funding and other resources through collaboration
  • Identifying and securing new funding sources through a coordinated approach

To learn more, contact Barbara Dolan, Deputy Director of Community Development
Barbara.dolan [at]

Check out a map of our work with Native nations throughout Minnesota as well as across the country.