According to its website, SAIGE is a national nonprofit organization representing American Indian and Alaska Native employees of federal, tribal, state and local governments. It also provides a forum on the issues, challenges and opportunities of those employees and fosters a professional network among them.
SAIGE Chairwoman Fredericka Joseph, a Kaw Nation citizen with Cherokee decent, said the organization also supports American Indians and Alaska Natives being hired in the federal workforce.
“We look at them being hired into the workforce as well as promoted up into programs and into grades that they can make a difference in what happens to our tribes in terms of impacts with policies and that type of thing,” she said.
SAIGE also has veterans and youth programs, with the youth program providing leadership training.
“So we really value our youth. They are the heartbeat of the organization. And then we honor out veterans as well,” she said.
Joseph said during the conference there were several tracks or sessions that attendees could learn from to take information back to their respective communities.
“We have federal Indian law. We have EEOHR (equal employment opportunity). We have professional track. We have natural resources, and we have cultural diversity pieces. We found that being able to give tracks to different people that work in different fields, that they’re able to get more information and learn different things from the trainers that come in here,” she said. “We also look at how we can honor that federal trust responsibility for our agencies and that they should be respecting that government-to-government relationships, so that’s part of our training as well.”
CN citizen Brian Barlow, who’s originally from Tahlequah and a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said he was invited to attend SAIGE after his freshmen year of college.
“I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Arkansas, and I received the Gates (Millennium) scholarship my senior year (of high school), and (had) a lot of people in my life pushing me to go further. And so my dad convinced me to apply to school in D.C., and I didn’t think I’d get in and I got in and I had to go. So SAIGE really gave me a lot of the confidence I needed to say ‘well there are Native people there in D.C. and there are people trying to do good things there, and I think I can really find a place where I’ll be comfortable and be happy there,’ so that really helped me,” Barlow said.
He said he continued attending SAIGE conferences to meet different types of people.
“Being here from Tahlequah, sure, you can meet people from Creek Nation, Comanche, Choctaw, Chickasaw and western tribes like Apache and Cheyenne Arapaho, but meeting tribes over there in New Mexico, just meeting all kinds of new people is the best part about SAIGE,” he said. “It really is a blessing to get to learn about other Native peoples because we all do things differently. We have overlap, but it’s unique and a blessing to meet all these people striving to make differences in their communities and Indian Country.”
The conference also brought tribal dignitaries, who thanked and voiced support of the work SAIGE does for Indian Country, including Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Creek Nation Chief James Floyd and Osage Nation Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.
For more information, visit www.saige.org.
ᎦᏚᏌ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ – Ꮎ Society of American Indian Government Employees ᏥᎾᏅᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏗᏓᏂᎳᏫᎪᎢ ᏗᎭᎷᏱ 6-9 ᎥᎿ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, ᎠᎾᏃ Ꮎ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᏚᏂᎧᏁᏉᏍᏓᏅ ᏗᎦᏟᏐᏗ, ᏗᏂᏯᏂᎲ, ᎪᏢᏅᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ Ꮎ American Indian ᎠᎴ Alaska Native ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏧᏂᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ.
ᎠᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ, SAIGE ᎥᎿ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ Ꮭ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎪᏢᏍᎦ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᎾᏓᏓᏅᏒ American Indian ᎠᎴ Alaska Natives ᏧᏂᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁ Ꮎ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ, ᏗᏂᎳᏍᏓᎸ, ᏍᎦᏚᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎡᏍᎦᎾ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ. ᏃᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬ Ꮎ ᏗᏯᏙᎯᎢ, ᏯᏓᏁᎵᏙᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏧᏂᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏗᎰ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᎯ ᏧᎾᏚᏓᎳ ᎤᎾᎵᏧᏴᎢ.
SAIGE ᎠᎨᏯ ᏗᏓᏘᎿᎢ, Fredricka Joseph, Ꭷ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎨᎳ ᏃᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎵᎶᎯᏗᏙᎳᎩ ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᏃᎴ ᎤᏂᎫᏍᏓᎣᎢ American Indians ᎠᎴ Alaska Natives ᏗᎨᏥᎾᏢᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎦᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ. “ ᏕᎨᏥᎾᏢᏍᎬ ᏙᏥᎪᏫᏘᎰ ᏃᎴ ᎨᎦᎵᏒᎵᏛᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᏅᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᏅᏗ ᎾᎮᏃ ᏄᏓᎴ ᏱᎾᏅᎦ Ꮎ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓᏂᏙᎲ ᎥᎿ ᏗᎦᏤᎵ ᏕᎩᎳᏍᏓᎸᎢ Ꮎ ᏓᏓᎴᏂᏍᎬ Ꮎ ᏓᏓᏛᎾᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᏚᎵᎪᏒ ᏗᎳᏏᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ Ꮎ ᎥᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ” ᎤᏛᏅ.
SAIGE ᏃᎴ ᏚᏃᏢ ᎠᏂᏲᏍᎩ ᎤᏁᏙᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎩᎠ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏚᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ, Ꮎ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎠᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎬᏱ ᎠᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᎾᏍᏗᎲᎢ. “ᎤᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᏧᏂᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎥᎿ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ. ᎥᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎾᏙᎯᏳ ᎥᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᏙᏣᎮᎵᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᏂᏲᏍᎩ ᎤᏁᏙᎸᎢ ᎥᏍᏊ.” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
Joseph ᏃᎴ ᎤᏛᏅ, ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᏓᏂᎳᏫᎬ, ᎢᎦᏓ ᏗᏍᏓᏫᏛᏍᏗ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ Ꮎ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᏗᏍᎩ ᎡᎷᏊ ᏯᎾᏕᏠᎩ ᎨᏥᏃᎮᏎᎸᏅ ᎤᏂᏫᏓ ᎥᎿ ᎤᏂᏙᎯᏳᏌᏛᎢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩᎢ.
“ᏗᎧᏅᏩᏛᏍᏓᏅ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏙᎩᎭ. ᎣᎩᎭ EEOHR (equal emplyment opportunity). ᎣᎩᎭ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᎯ ᎠᏍᏓᏫᏗᏅᏍᏗ. ᏙᎩᎭ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏛ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎦᎷᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᏙᎩᎭ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎦᏟᏏᏍᏗ. ᎣᎦᏕᎸᎰᏒ Ꮎ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏴᏫ ᏱᏙᏥᏁ ᏗᏍᏓᏫᏛᏍᏗ Ꮎ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏧᏂᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᏓᏁᏙᎲᎢ, ᎡᎷᏊ ᎤᎪᏓ ᏯᏂᎩᏏᏓ ᎧᏃᎮᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏯᎾᏕᏠᎩ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏗᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏪᏲᎲᏍᎬᎢ ᏳᏁᏙᎳ”, ᎤᏛᏅ. ᏃᎴ ᎣᎩᎦᏛᎲᏍᎪ ᎦᏙ ᎣᎦᏛᏂᏗ ᏙᏥᎸᏉᏙᏗ Ꮎ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎰᏩ ᎠᏰᎸᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᏓᎸᎢ ᏙᎦᏤᎵ ᏙᏥᏅᏍᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᎴᎮᎵᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ Ꮎ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ -ᎥᎿ-ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎾᏓᏙᎵᎩ, ᎾᎮᏃ ᎥᏍᎩᎾᏍᏊ ᏗᏙᏣᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪᎢ”. CN ᎨᎳ, Brian Barlow, ᏓᎷᏈ ᎤᏙᎯᏳᎨᏒ ᏓᏳᎶᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏍᏆᏓ ᎥᎿ George Washington University Ꮎ ᏩᏒᏓᏂ D.C., ᎤᏛᏅ, ᎠᏥᏯᏅ ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ SAIGE ᎤᏍᏆᏙᎾ ᎠᎬᏱ ᎠᎴᏂᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.
ᎩᎳ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎦᏍᏆᏛ ᎨᏒ ᎥᎿ University of Arkansas, ᎠᏩᏓᏌᏅ ᎨᏒ Gates (Millenium) ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ Ꮎ ᏗᏥᏆᏗᏍᎬ (high school), ᎠᎴ ᏴᏫ ᎬᎩᏍᏗᏰᏗᏍᎬ Ꮟ ᎭᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᎬᏬᏎᎲᎢ. ᎡᏙᏓᏃ ᎠᎦᏍᏗᏰᏓᏅ ᎪᏪᎳ ᏗᎧᎵᏐᏓ ᎥᎿ D.C., Ꮭ ᏯᏩᏓᏴᏎᎴᎢ ᎨᎵᏍᎬ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᏩᏓᏴᏎᎴᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᏪᏅᏍᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏅᎢ. Ꮎ SAIGE ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎰᏩ ᏂᎬᏭᏂᏎᎸᎢ ᎡᎷᏊ ᏂᎩᏪᏍᏓ, “ᎭᏩ ᎡᎷᏊ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏁᎭ ᎥᎿ D.C., ᎠᎴ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᎭ ᎠᎾᏁᎵᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎡᎷᏊ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏱᏏᏩᏔ Ꮎ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎥᎿ ᏱᎦᎴᎮᎵᏍᏓ,” ᎥᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᎦᏍᏕᎸᎲᎢ,” Barlow ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
ᎤᏛᏅ ᏃᎴ, Ꮟ ᏕᎨᏙᎲ SAIGE ᏱᏚᏂᎳᏫᏥ ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗ.
“ᏓᎷᏈ ᏗᎩᎶᏒ ᏥᎩ, ᎡᎷᏊ ᏱᏗᎯᏩᏔ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎥᎿ ᎠᎫᏐ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ, ᎧᎺᏂᏥ, ᏣᎦᏔ, ᏥᎦᏌ, ᏃᎴ ᎠᏂᏐ ᏭᏕᎵᎬ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᎸ, Ꮎ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏇᏥ ᎠᎴ ᏌᏰᎾ ᎠᎴᏈᎰ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏙᏣᏠᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᎾᎳᏍᏓᎸ ᎥᎿ ᏍᏆᏂ ᏤᏍᏛᎢ, ᏙᏨᏠᏍᎬᏫᏊ ᎠᏂᏐ ᏴᏫ ᎥᏍᎩᎾ ᏫᏓᏤᏢᎢ Ꮎ SAIGE.” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ᏙᏳᏃ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏐ ᏄᎾᏍᏛ ᎠᏂᎦᏰᎯᏯ, ᎾᎮᏃ ᏄᏓᎴᏏᏅᏊ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎵᏙᎰᎢ. ᎤᏠᏱ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏃᎦᏛᏃᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏂᎦᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎪᎵᏍᏓ ᎥᎿ ᏴᏫ Ꮎ ᏣᏂᎦᏙ ᏓᏤᏢ ᏄᏅᏂᏗ ᏧᎾᏤᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ”
Ꮎ ᏗᏓᏂᎳᏫᎪ ᏃᎴ ᎠᏂᏐ ᏗᎦᎨᏑᏰᏓ ᏚᏂᎷᏨᎢ, ᏚᎾᎵᎮᎵᏍᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏬᏂᏒ Ꮎ ᎠᏂᎫᏍᏛᏍᎬ ᏚᏂᎶᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ Ꮎ SAIGE ᏥᎾᏅᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᏗᏍᏕᎵᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩᎢ, Ꮎ ᎨᏥᏠᏯᏍᏗᎲ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker, ᎫᏐ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ James Floyd ᎠᎴ ᎠᎦᏌᏌ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Geoffrey Standing Bear.
ᎤᎪᏓ ᏣᏕᎶᎰᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᏪᏓ: www. saige.org