Tribal Talks

We are proud to be partnering with Erika Weiss, Associate Attorney and co-founder of the Barnes & Thornburg, LLP’s Native American Law and Policy group, to bring relevant, real, and actionable information to Indian Country regarding starting, operating, and governing an economic development and diversification strategy for Tribes.


Episode #1: Meet hosts Erika Weiss of Barnes & Thornburg and Deidra Mitchell of Waséyabek Development Company, as we discuss our backgrounds in tribal culture and our experience working in Native American law and policy, economic development, and small business development. We talk about some of the topics we plan to explore with this podcast, including how to set up an economic development company on behalf of your tribe, strategic planning, leadership and sovereignty, diversifying revenue streams, the Harvard Business Model as it relates to American Indian Tribes, and more.

Episode #2: Clay Vanderpool, Managing Director & Tribal Economic Development Practice Leader for DWH in Detroit, joins hosts Erika Weiss and Deidra Mitchell to discuss strategic planning for tribal economic development efforts. We discuss why this process is vital, which stakeholders need to be around the table, where to start the discussion, and what to do once a tentative plan is in place. And, of course, some of the curve balls that can come along during the strategic planning process.

Episode #3: Tribal Talks explores the issue of due diligence and how to evaluate an opportunity within the context of your strategic plan. Along with their guest, James TenBrink of Waséyabek Development Company, Erika and Deidra discuss the importance of due diligence, how to effectively conduct due diligence, and what resources you can turn to for help in the processes. Finally, we discuss the hard truth of walking away from an opportunity when due diligence raises too many red flags.

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