This is a non-partisan event. Seeding Sovereignty and the NNA do not endorse candidates.

Iowa is ground zero for the 2020 Presidential election. The National Network Assembly (NNA) will convene August 22-25, 2019 in Iowa and will host 200 grassroots leaders and organizers from across the country. Participants will network and plan actions as well as identify collaborative opportunities. With deepened relationships and broadened skills, progressive leaders will return home equipped and energized to mobilize the collective power of their communities.

Seeding Sovereignty is the invited Indigenous partner of the NNA and is curating an Indigenous Political Engagement Summit as part of this catalytic event. This 2-day summit will bring 30-35 cutting-edge and radical Indigenous leaders from Turtle Island together to learn, network, and strategize around issues important to Indigenous political engagement. We thank the NNA for recognizing our work and, working with us and funding the Summit.

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The idea for this summit emerged from SHIFT (Seeding the Hill with Indigenous FreeThinkers) and the work that we are doing on the ground in Iowa and across the nation. SHIFT is Seeding Sovereignty’s political engagement program launched to empower the political voice of Indigenous Peoples in order to impact the 2020 Presidential election. This project was developed out of the need to create long term change by decolonizing the American colonial-capitalist political system. Indigenous Peoples have long spoken of the repercussions of colonial-capitalism, the need for a regenerative economy, land stewardship for the generations to come, and the important role of women. SHIFT’s mission is motivated by the ceaseless assault on Indigenous communities, disproportionately coveted by the extraction industry and poisoned by insatiable greed for oil, gas, coal, uranium, timber, dams, Big-Ag, CAFOs and more. Along with violence to the earth comes danger to our people--we and our cultures are in crisis with the highest rates of poverty, illness, youth suicide, missing and murdered people in this country.



Invited presenters will lead conversation in their area of expertise. Presenters, so far, include: 

Lance Foster - Land Acknowledgement and Iowa History

Mahrinah von Schlegel - Using PACs to Support Indigenous Issues

Tai Pelli, Borikén Taíno - Knowing your rights; using the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, other Mechanisms & Conventions

Remy Fredenburg - Direct Action Guerrilla Media: Presidential Campaigns And Beyond

Lawrence Lewis - Cutting Edge and Digital Voting Mechanisms on the Rez

Christine Nobiss - The Green New Deal and Indigenous Peoples

Mellor Willie, Navajo - Our Footsteps are Sacred: Navigating the World of Politics as a Two-Spirit Leader

The Agenda—Two Issues key of Indian Country

1. The Upcoming Presidential Election - Targeting the candidates and getting an Indigenous platform into the 2020 race. Topics include:

- Building Indigenous political networks during the campaign season

- How do we get Presidential candidates to carry out land acknowledgments 

- How to strengthen the Indigenous role in the Green New Deal 

- Bird-Dogging candidates on Indigenous issues

- Engaging Indigenous Peoples to organize and vote next November

- Working on campaigns and the roles of Native American Advisers 

2. Long Term Political Engagement - How to build Indigenous sovereignty while engaging in the US Political system. Topics Include:

- Why engage with the American colonial-capitalist political system? Can we decolonize the existing political narrative?

- Understanding lobbying and the unique government-to-government relationships between First Nations and the federal government

- What issues stop Indigenous Peoples from voting, running for office and organizing?

- Running and organizing a campaign for tribal government

- How do build a network and funding resource for Indigenous Peoples doing political engagement work and consultation work for candidates

- The historic election of two Indigenous women into congress

- Addressing the increased dispersal of Indigenous Peoples from rural reservations to urban centers 

- How do we build beyond 2020? (The States of Change organization projects that by 2024, millennials will comprise 45% of eligible voters)

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For questions, contact:

Christine Nobiss

Plains Cree/Saulteaux

SHIFT Director

Seeding Sovereignty 




Thank you to the National Network Assembly for you partnership and for supporting this work.