OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The College of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation announced a new Certificate in Tribal Leadership program. The program will begin offering classes in the fall 2022 semester.
The new curriculum will combine Native American cultural values with leadership skills tailored for modern tribal communities. CMN Tribal Services Director Matthew Yates says the program is not only an investment in students, it’s an investment in the future.
“It takes the best aspects of administration and focuses more on developing leaders for the future,” Yates said. “Proper leadership can completely change the way an organization functions. We are treating it separate from just the business functionality, to learn how to excel in a leadership role”
The program will use leadership theories as well as real world examples to instruct students.
“We want to expose students to a wide range of leadership theories, including traditional concepts in real-world situations” Yates said. “We will look at how our leaders handle situations, considering the history and trauma that is still playing out. Connecting these concepts in this specialization will be advantageous for our Mvskoke students when they become leaders”
The program will give students the opportunities to gain experience in working with tribal communities in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. That includes a required community development capstone project.
“Our capstone in this new leadership program is a community development project where students will get hands-on to produce something that benefits the community.” Yates said. “I think sometimes we need a reminder to stay grounded. Remember who we’re working for and that good leaders cannot succeed alone.”
CMN President Dr. Monte Randall believes teaching a modern leadership curriculum is important for the future of the tribe. Effective leadership is crucial for a healthy community.
“While we have many great Native American leaders today, leadership development was one of the most overlooked aspects of identity stolen from our people during the numerous policies and assimilation attempts.” Dr. Randall said. “We still have many traditional and ceremonial ways to develop leaders; however many of our Tribal governments and programs require an understanding of cultural values in leadership”.
The new program will teach invaluable leadership principles through the lens of tribal culture.
“The main tenets of character, values, community and excellence exist between mainstream and Native American Leadership, but the differences are purpose and culture,” Dr. Randall said. “The character and values of a person are the most important and should be rooted in Native American culture. Leaders can then positively and more effectively impact the culture of the tribal organizations.”
For information on CMN degree program offerings, visit: https://cmn.edu/degrees/.