Certificate in Tribal Relations

Certificate in Tribal Relations

Program Overview

[New Offering] Professional Development Opportunity!

If you are not seeking the full certificate, consider signing up for any or all of the five sessions (4 hours each) focused on Tribal Relations and Indian Law, carefully selected from the Certificate program and made publicly available for professional development purposes.
You may either register for the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Credit Option at $1,000/session or for the Professional Development Option at $750/session. 
Visit website for more information.

The Certificate in Tribal Relations is offered by the Institute for Tribal Government and Center for Public Service in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government. It is designed for local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and trade associations that work regularly with tribal nations and native communities. The program seeks to:

  • Foster understanding of tribal perspectives
  • Increase staff effectiveness and accountability when working in Indian Country
  • Improve working relationships between participants and the tribal communities with whom they work


A Cohort Learning Experience – as part of a cohort, students benefit from the rich and varied experiences of their peers.

Friday Class Sessions – end of week classes make it convenient for working professionals to attend.

Selection of a Case Partner Tribe - Each student develops a relationship with one tribal government to compare course material with that tribe’s lived experiences.

Three Immersive Field Experiences – each cohort meets with leaders and senior staff at the federal, state, and tribal levels of government.

Mentorship – each cohort has mentor-facilitators to provide guidance through the program and coordinate content delivery. Course content is delivered by a cadre of tribal leaders, elders, and other experts.

Capstone – each student completes a Capstone project pertaining to their particular organization and goals.

Long-Distance Learning – students can participate in class sessions by using the Zoom video-conference platform


  • Students successfully completing the program will develop skills in:
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity;
  • Trust and relationship building;
  • Understanding and respecting tribal beliefs, interests, and priorities;
  • Collaborative governance; and
  • Represent agency programs and priorities to the tribal governments and native communities with which they work.


Mid-career professionals employed by local, state, federal, and regional government agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and trade associations who work regularly with tribal nations and native communities.

Members of tribal governments and other native communities interested in collaborative governance.


Sessions meet on the following dates from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm:

  • Friday, December 11, 2020
  • January 24–28, 2021 (ATNI Winter Convention in Portland)
  • Friday, February 12
  • March 8–11 (State Capitol)
  • Friday, April 9
  • Friday, May 14
  • June 7–11 (Tribal Nations)* 
  • Friday, July 9
  • Friday, August 6
  • Friday, August 27 (Capstones)

Hybrid Delivery* - students have the option to participate in-person or remotely for the class sessions (field experiences will be conducted in-person).  
*In-person class size will be limited to 15 or fewer people. PPE and adherence to social distancing guidelines are required for all in-person gatherings. 


Direlle R. Calica, J.D.

ITG Director & CTR Program Manager
Institute for Tribal Government

Citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Mrs. Direlle R. Calica. J.D. has over 20-years of experience as a legislative, policy, planning, and regulatory advisor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Oregon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Intertribal Organizations, and various Indian Tribes. Mrs. Calica has extensive professional experience in intergovernmental affairs, hydro-system planning, tribal economic development, tribal energy infrastructure policy, and tribal water policy. She has also served as a White House Intern and Mark O. Hatfield Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Her professional background includes a Juris Doctorate with a focus on Business and Natural Resource policy. Mrs. Calica was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in the Indian Law Program. Mrs. Calica also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Energy Coalition, the Oregon Native American Chamber, and Council Member for the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council. She is also a Bonneville Environmental Foundation (B-E-F) Board of Director, Emeritus. Mrs. Calica is the Managing Partner of Kanim Associates, LLC a Native American, women and Veteran owned company based in Portland, Oregon. Finally, she is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) and the WSBA Environmental Law Section.