Student Testomies

Master of Tribal Administration & Governance

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What MTAG Students Have to Say....


My name is Tiger Brown Bull and I am an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I am a proud member of Cohort 1 of the MTAG program at UMD. Currently, I am the Assistant Commissioner of Administration for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Prior to my current position, I was the Executive Director for the Oglala Sioux Tribe for 3 years. If it wasn’t for the knowledge, experience, and relationships I gained through MTAG I would not have been selected to be Executive Director for the second largest tribe in the country at OST and now the administrator for one of the most reputable and successful self-governance tribes with Mille Lacs. MTAG provided me the necessary tools and education to be a successful tribal administrator and leader right out of college.

The MTAG program has been the perfect vehicle for me to learn about tribal administration and governance while still being able to commit the  necessary time to stay active with my family life, my work, and my community  involvement. The program design has been successful in improving both my  breadth and depth of knowledge in Indian law, sovereignty, tribal management,  and ethics. - Joe S. Nayquonabe, CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures and Commissioner of Corporate Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band.


The MTAG program fits with my busy schedule, especially with a toddler  and a baby at home. I am able to get my masters while working full time,  and taking care of my family. This program has helped me in developing a deeper understanding of the various issues that affect Indian Country and how American Indian history has evolved to what it is today. - Chally Topping

The MTAG program has given me information and inter-tribal networking that I could immediately utilize in my job. - Gail T. Kulick

MTAG provides the student with a good base of relevant  knowledge to work with or in tribal government.  The cohort model allows for you to interact with other professionals to give a multidimensional prospective. I  found that the relevance of the program was something that I was able to see in  practice at my job immediately. - Lea J. Perkins

It took awhile to get used to prioritizing my work load, my community and personal commitments, and my course load after being out of school for so long.  But the material is so immediately applicable to my job with my tribe and even my role in my tribal community that any difficulty I may have had in the beginning seems insignificant now
. - Becky Houle


This MTAG program has been a learning experience for me.  I have come to look at my surroundings in a different view than I have had before.  I have researched my family history, studied the history of my reservation (White Earth) and MTAG has taken me beyond that.  The program on the website is a plus in the way I can be at home in my community and feel a connection with all the other communities at the same time.  In my community, I have come to realize how much we need leadership to get the community involved and motivated.  Just in the last two months,  I have started talking circles with the elderly, which they really enjoy and I am making an effort to get them involved more with the younger generation and the rest of the community along with cultural activities.  I've also started a community newsletter with my sister because there was a  lack of communication to all the happening so hopefully we will get more people involved. - Evelyn Bellanger


This program has taught me so much. I feel like I didn't always know what questions to ask before, and now I feel confident to ask tough questions about my tribe and how it is being managed. I was nervous to start the classes with my first child being born only two months before classes started, but the convenient class schedules and the flexibility of the online participation made it easy to learn at my own pace while still having time for my family. The instructors are so knowledgeable and supportive that I am excited to come to classes. - Crystal Weckert

The MTAG program has offered me an opportunity to understand and engage in cutting edge ideas and concepts that have and continue to shape "Indian Country" today.  I currently work full time for a tribal nation but have not been hampered or overburdened by the coursework and the hybrid concept of online course work and class chat interaction, coupled with frequent in person gatherings, is brilliant.  My instructors and the administrative support staff have been nothing less than perfect and I have been impressed with how the courses and materials blend and overlap supporting and reinforcing each other.  I would highly recommend this program to any individual, native or non-native, that would like to gain a better understanding on tribal communities and governmental concepts. -Michael W. Neusser


Being part of the MTAG has been as enriching on a human level as it has been professionally enlightening. Although most of the course work is on line, the best parts are when we finally meet, once every three weeks, with the rest of our class. There is a feeling of cohesion that really makes it fun to study. Our professors are very supportive and understanding, and they take our feedback at heart. - Caroline Laurent


I have just completed my first semester of the MTAG program and I must say it has been one the most intriguing, captivating and thought provoking advanced degree I have been a part of.  The material presented by the professors has motivated me to re-examine my commitment and involvement with my reservation.  I believe the dynamics along with the synergy created by the students and professors have been one of the motivating factors for me to become more active in assisting in identifying and promoting the strengths of the Fond du Lac reservation,my reservation. The MTAG program is demanding, time consuming and results oriented however the outcomes and benefits to my community and me, in my opinion, far outweigh the time factor.  A majority of the program is done online, it is for that reason it fits in exceptionally well with my family life as well as my work.  The face- to- face meetings we have are extremely beneficial and very inspiring.  I must understand the commitment to my education must take priority over my personal commitments.  Personal commitments can be modified and if necessary placed on hold as I pursue my education. - Don Wiesen