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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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ASU American Indian Policy Institute Ignites Tribal Entrepreneurship With Inno-Nations
by Candace Hamana - Hopi Tutuveni
Native models showcase the artwork and fashion designs of aspiring Native Entrepreneurs.
Second left: ASU Hopi student Temera Nahsonhoya, grandaughter of Elsie and the late Thomas Nahsonhoya

ASU recently hosted two kick-off events formally launching Inno-Nations, a bold new program it hopes will encourage tribal entrepreneurship and spur economic development throughout Indian Country and in places with a high urban Native American population, like Phoenix.

Inno-Nations goal is to build a "tribal business collision community" explained Dr. Traci Morris, American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) Director and Inno-Nations founder. Through creative partnerships, resources from ASU and other community-minded organizations, she hopes to create a physical culturally relevant location where tribal business owners can work together, share office space and host events and workshops for tribal start-ups to share resources.

To kick off this exciting new program, Morris hosted both a cohort "Beyond Buckskin: Beyond Online" on March 1 and Fashioning the Resistance: A Tribal Fashion Event on March 4 in downtown Phoenix at The Department. Morris welcomed boutique owner Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe, who talked about how she grew her blog into an online store and later into a physical brick and mortar boutique which is located on her reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota.

Metcalfe who is Turtle Mountain Chippewa, works with over 40 artists to provide handcrafted and authentic Native American fashion and accessories. The week culminated with a fashion show that featured many of Metcalfe's designers with an added theme of political activism showcasing the latest designs and logos from Jared Yazzie of OXDX.

The next event will be a First Innovations Inaugural Community Cohort June 22-24. To learn more about Inno-Nations, visit their website at:

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