National Museum of the American Indian
MOU Signing
Navajo Nation visit

Hosts First Nations Collective Impact Program to promote mutual learning.

The Native American Business Association (NABA), in collaboration with Supply Nation, was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State to host a joint Australian Indigenous and Native American delegation. The “First Nations Collective Impact Program” was from Oct. 19-Nov. 5, and took the delegates to Anchorage in Alaska, Washington D.C., and New Orleans before concluding in Oklahoma City with a goal of promoting mutual learning and sharing to further enhance the respective First Nations’ business, economic, and cultural outcomes.

NABA is an advocacy group that was established through cooperative efforts between Native American business owners, City of Dallas, Parkland Health & Hospital System, DFW MDBA, People Fund and the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma (AICCOK). The organization’s mission is to serve as advocates for Native American-owned businesses and aid in business resource and development. NABA was created to increase Native American-owned business participation in minority contracting opportunities, while also improving their impact in their communities.

Since 2009, Supply Nation has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses along with procurement teams from government and corporate Australia to help shape the emerging and rapidly evolving Indigenous business sector.

“On behalf of NABA’s Board and members, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this 18-day reciprocal program of engagement between Australian Indigenous and Native American leaders,” said NABA President Amanda Smith. “Advocating for greater participation of First Nations businesses in minority supplier initiatives while gaining a deeper understanding of our respective challenges will certainly build greater awareness for our respective First Nations’ culture, business, and opportunities across institutions, tribes, and organizations.”

During National Reconciliation Week 2022, the inaugural First Nations Trade Mission from the United States engaged 10 Native American business, tribal and academic leaders on an 11-day program across Sydney, Darwin, and Brisbane. It was during this time that president of NABA, Amanda Smith, along with Jason Jones, Chairman of NTIBN (Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network) signed a mutual opportunity Statement of Intent, entered “to empower, share knowledge, and create opportunities” for First Nations people as well as their member organizations, partners, and sovereign nation. The document includes a list of the Values and Principles shared by the signing parties. Other entities signing similar Statements of Intent were The American Indian Chamber of Commerce Oklahoma and Alaskan Native Village Corporations Association.

Some of the activities for the delegates’ journey through North America included attending the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, a reception at the Australian Embassy with Australian and U.S. Representatives, participation in sessions at the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Annual Conference, and ongoing meetings with respective government and tribal leaders in each state. Immersive cultural tours and a traditional Indigenous North American stickball exhibition match were also part of the program’s itinerary.