Tribal Delegate

Legislate bills that improve the lives of Native American tribe members.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$16,000 – $84,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tribal Delegates do?

Each Native American tribe has its own government that acts as a link between the federal government and the tribe. These tribal governments are made up of a President, Vice President, and council. A Tribal Delegate is part of the governing council and has the power to form laws that are right for the tribe in a way Washington D.C. could never manage.

Like a State Senator, a Tribal Delegate votes on laws and statutes that affect his or her area. Sometimes, as a Tribal Delegate, you’re forced to make unpopular decisions, as the people up top aren’t always sympathetic. No matter the decision, though, your goal as a Tribal Delegate is to create some positive change towards bettering the life of your tribe.

Keeping on top of the news and staying tied to your community allow you to represent the people you serve. You’re an active member of the tribe. Knowing the people within it and the issues that are important to them keeps getting you reelected to the council.

Do schools have enough funding? Does a giant corporation want to build a lavish supermall on tribal lands? To find out, you interview tribe members, follow the news, and hold community events and forums to hear public opinions. As a Tribal Delegate, you’re in charge of caring about what your people care about.

The fellow tribe members you speak for are often underrepresented on Capitol Hill. They aren’t the national Legislator ’s main concern, so you’re the one who makes sure they’re heard. Bringing a voice to those who are seldom listened to is one of your most fruitful rewards.

Should I be a Tribal Delegate?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Delegate, Tribal Council Member

    How to become a Tribal Delegate

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Tribal Delegate-related education!
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