Tribal Connections Broadcast/Webinar Series

This webinar series is a series of educational webinars focusing on Indian Country and fostering tribal connections.

If you have any questions regarding this series, please contact

Disclaimer: This webinar series is for educational purposes only. The opinions, ideas or data presented in this webinar series do not represent FWS policy or constitute endorsement by FWS. Some of the materials and images may be protected by copyright or may have been licenses to us by a third party and are restricted in their use. Mention of any product names, companies, web links, textbooks or other references does not imply Federal endorsement.

Webinar Descriptions

An Introduction to Traditional, or Indigenous Knowledge (TEK) (webinar)

  • Details: Anyone who is interested in traditional ecological knowledge or working with tribes is welcome to join. During this presentation we’ll hear what traditional ecological knowledge means and have time for questions and answers. This presentation qualifies for one diversity credit.

  • Presenters: Crystal Leonetti (USFWS), Kim Greenwood (NPS) and Ciarra Greene (Nez Perce Tribal Resolutions Committee)

  • Recorded: July 16, 2020

  • Duration: 70 Minutes

Applications of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (Broadcast)

  • Details: Join us for a special presentation where we will discuss how to merge Traditional Ecological, or Indigenous Knowledge, with western science. This presentation is a follow up to the above "An introduction to Traditional Ecological, or Indigenous, Knowledge" presented in July of 2020, which can be found on NCTC's ​Tribal Connection web page:

    Presented by Henry Huntington, Artic Researcher.  Henry lives in Eagle River, Alaska. His research includes documenting Indigenous knowledge of marine mammals, examining Iñupiat and Inuit knowledge and use of sea ice, and assessing the impacts of climate change on Arctic communities. Huntington has been involved in several international research programs, was co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences committee on emerging research questions in the Arctic and a member of the Council of Canadian Academies panel on the state of knowledge of food security in the North. He also works on evidence-based conservation of the Arctic marine environment. Huntington has made long trips in the Arctic by dog team, small boat, and snowmobile.

  • Presenters: Henry Huntington , Artic Researcher

  • Recorded: January 21, 2021

  • Duration: 52 Minutes

Celebrating Our Native American Heritage: Partnering with Tribes to Manage Natural Resources (Broadcast)

  • Details: We welcome any Department of Interior staff and partners who are involved with tribes or who wish to learn more about working with tribes. This webinar qualifies for one hour of diversity credit.

    Mr. Sonny Myers will speak about the Inter-Tribal natural resource management organization’s role in protecting and implementing off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights for the Bois Forte and Grand Portage Bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa.

    This Inter-Tribal natural resource management agency is known as the 1854 Treaty Authority.

  • Presenters: Sonny Myers

  • Recorded: November 19, 2020

  • Duration: 60 Minutes

Developing Land Acknowledgements (Broadcast)

  • Details: What is the purpose of, and how do you go about developing, a land acknowledgement? We’ll learn this and more in the next series of the Tribal Broadcast Connections!

    Crystal (Ciisquq) Leonetti is Yup’ik and a citizen of Curyung Tribal Council, born and raised in Alaska. As Native Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she represents the Regional Director regarding Alaska Native interests, including government-to-government relations with Alaska’s 229 Tribes.

    Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay'dini'aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, Alaska). She is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist and the curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries. Her work is shaped by the structure and processes of the Dene ceremony of potlatch. She has been published in the Alaska Humanities FORUM Magazine, First American Art Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Learning Lab. She teaches about land acknowledgement concepts and other Indigenous leadership attributes.

  • Audio described version:

  • Presenters: Crystal (Ciisquq) Leonetti (USFWS) and Melissa Shaginoff

  • Recorded: September 16th, 2021

  • Duration: 65 Minutes

Federal Native Trust Lands (Broadcast)

  • Details: Did you know taking land into trust is one of the most important functions the Department of the Interior undertakes on behalf of Tribes, as 2% of the United States is held in Federal Trust status for Native American Tribes? Please join us to learn more about the history of Native American lands!

    About our presenter, Frank Rollefson:
    Frank Desmond Rollefson, or Desi, has 15 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He has experience as the Rangeland Manager for the Northern Cheyenne Agency, Natural Resource Officer for the Crow Agency, Water Rights Specialist for Rocky Mountain Regional Office (RMRO), and Cartographic Technician and Wildlife Biologist, both for RMRO. Desi has participated with post wildlife assessment crews, or the Burned Area Emergency Response team for regional reservation trust lands. Desi is of German, Norwegian and Northern Cheyenne descent. He is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne, and his families are from Minnesota and Montana. Desi received his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Montana in 1997, and his Masters in Resource Management from Central Washington University in 2003.

  • Presenters: Frank Rollefson (BIA)

  • Recorded: August 26, 2021

  • Duration: 53 Minutes

Growing From Land Acknowledgements (Webinar)

  • Details: Tribal connections goes beyond the land acknowledgement. Join presenters Jennifer Owen-White, Jennifer Heroux, Juliette Fernandez, and Angelina Yost in a conversation about aspects of engagement beyond the land acknowledgement.

  • Presenters: Jennifer Owen-White (USFWS), Jennifer Heroux (USFWS), Juliette Fernandez (USFWS), and Angelina Yost (USFWS)

  • Recorded: October 21, 2021

  • Duration: 62 Minutes

Importance of USFWS Cultural Resources to Native American Heritage (Broadcast)

  • Details:  Did you know that the National Wildlife Refuge System contains thousands of Native American archaeological sites? These places represent thousands of years of Indigenous heritage and offer unique opportunities for connection with today’s living Native American and Alaska Native descendants.

    We welcome any of the Department of the Interior staff and partners who are involved with tribes or who wish to learn more about working with tribes.

    Eugene Marino is Chief Archaeologist/Federal Preservation Officer and National Museum Curator for the USFWS. He serves as the National cultural resources and museum collection subject matter expert for the USFWS responsible for advising USFWS Leadership on issues relating to historic preservation, archaeological compliance and museum curation and management. He is also the National liaison with the USFWS Regional Archaeologists and Curators. Since 2007 Mr. Marino has been an Adjunct Professor for Shepherd University, teaching Anthropology and Archaeology courses.

    Timothy Binzen’s professional background is in archaeology and anthropology. Tim has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for eleven years, first in the Northeast Region’s Cultural Resources program, and then as Regional Tribal Liaison since 2017. Before joining the Service, Tim worked for more than two decades in archaeological consulting and gained a wide range of field experiences in Idaho, New Mexico, and New England. Tim has had many opportunities to work in consultation with Tribal members.

  • Presenters: Eugene Marino (USFWS) and Timothy Binzen (USFWS)

  • Recorded: April 15, 2021

  • Duration: 57 Minutes

Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets on Tribal Land (Broadcast)

  • Details: Did you know the black-footed ferret was once thought to be extinct? Today recovery efforts are in place to restore this critically endangered species. Join us for this special presentation where we will discuss the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret on tribal lands.

    Our presenter, Shaun Grassel is an enrolled member of and a wildlife biologist for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He has worked for his Tribe for more than 20 years on the conservation and management of wildlife species. Shaun’s work includes monitoring population trends of game species and focal non-game species, conducting research, and assisting in the development of policy. Shaun has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University and a Doctoral degree in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho.

  • Presenters: Shaun Grassel (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe)

  • Recorded: March 18, 2021

  • Duration: 48 Minutes

Subsistence Hunting, Fishing & Gathering in Alaska (Broadcast)

  • Details: According to our guest speaker, Orville Lind, this simply means when we spend quality time outdoors, deep within our souls, we learn to listen and observe when Mother Nature speaks to us. Hear more from Orville as he discusses subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering in Alaska.

    About Our Presenter, Orville Lind:
    Orville was born and raised in the Village of Chignik Lake on the Alaska Peninsula. He is the son of Fred and Annie Lind, and his grandparents are Dora and Fred Lindholm. He has six brothers and two sisters. Orville has fours sons, one daughter and a wife of 41 years. His father founded Chignik Lake and was long-time Village Chief until his passing in 1968. Later on, Orville, was chosen by this village to become Chignik’s youngest chief at the age of 18. Orville has an extensive background ranging from Village Chief to marine mammal tagger. He has more than 28 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Presenters: Orville Lind (USFWS)

  • Recorded: June 21, 2021

  • Duration: 61 Minutes

The Significance of Feathers to Native American Cultures (Broadcast)

  • Details: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the only National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository in the United States. This month we’ll hear from Liza Roman on the significance of feathers to Native American cultures.

    About Our Presenter, Liza M. Roman:
    Liza Roman, Wildlife Repository Specialist at the National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository, has worked on the Eagle Program for more than 8 years. Mostly, Liza works on the administrative side of the Program, processing orders and entering data for 1000s of applicants of enrolled members of Federally Recognized Tribes for feathers. Occasionally, she gets into the lab to help count feathers for shipments of 100s of feathers a month. Liza was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico where the Taos Pueblo exposed her to the cultural and religious significance of eagle feathers and how they play a role in Native American lives. As a young girl she frequented seasonal ceremonies held by the Taos Pueblo and grew to love the culture and respect the foundation of which is still practiced there today. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated as a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It has been inhabited continuously for more than 1000 years.

  • Presenters: Liza M. Roman (National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository)

  • Recorded: May 20, 2021

  • Duration: 44 Minutes

Tribal Treaties (Broadcast)

  • Details: Most Americans learn about the Founding Fathers but are told very little about equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations. Treaties lie at the heart of the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States. Understanding the importance of treaties is an essential step in understanding the history and legacy of U.S.–American Indian diplomacy from the colonial period through the present.

    About Our Presenter, Kevin Gover:
    Kevin Gover is a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

    Kevin received his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1978. He then earned his juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico College of Law in 1981. Following law school, Kevin established a small Native American-owned law firm that specialized in federal Indian law. Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C. grew into the largest Indian-owned law firm in the country and represented tribes and tribal agencies in a dozen states.

    In 1997, President Clinton nominated Kevin to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. As the senior executive of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), he won praise for his efforts to rebuild long-neglected Indian schools and expand tribal and BIA police forces throughout the country.

    In 2003, he joined the faculty at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and served on the faculty of the university’s Indian Legal Program, one of the largest such programs in the country.

    Kevin was Director of the National Museum of the American Indian from 2007 to 2021. He became Under Secretary for Museums and Culture in 2021.

  • Presenters: Kevin Gover (Under Secretary for Museums and Culture in 2021)

  • Recorded: November 18, 2021

  • Duration: 55 Minutes