Workshops Help Navajo Nation Businesses Survive Contract Process

Written by Kristi Eaton for Indian Country Today Media Network, LLC 2/11/15

As president of iiná bá, Inc, a Native American-owned environmental consulting firm, Duane Aspaas says he is always look for tips, training and education for his staff of nearly 20 to stay competitive.

Marketing and administrative staff from iiná bá, Inc., recently attended a workshop hosted by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development to learn about the proposal and request-for-proposal process that goes into obtaining high-level contracts in Indian country.

Afterward, Aspaas and his business were selected by the Navajo Gaming and EPA for contracts. “Often times when preparing a proposal, it is easiest to use some stock company marketing materials and qualifications language,” he said. “I like to think we’ve been selected by the Navajo Gaming and EPA because the presentation of our proposal was very professional and was organized to highlight our qualifications to meet their specific project requirements.”

That’s exactly what the people behind NCAIED want to hear. The organization was started to develop American Indian economic self-sufficiency through business ownership. Originally started back in 1969 in Los Angeles as a grassroots movement, it was known as the Urban Indian Development Association. The seven American Indian leaders who started it believed economic empowerment could help improve conditions for Native Americans through partnerships between government, the private sector and Indian country.  MORE….