USDA hosts national training at Wild Horse Pass

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News



On Monday, Nov. 4, the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) hosted a training called “Working Effectively with Native Americans.” The week-long training hosted at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, where NRCS employees became immersed in Native American history, laws, policies to create a better understanding of working in a Native American community.


Lt. Gov. Robert Stone was in attendance at the beginning of the training to provide a prayer and opening remarks. Those in attendance for the workshop work throughout the country in rural areas that offer a wide range of services and many times for Native American communities. 


Lt. Gov. Stone was honored that the Community hosted this year’s workshop stating, “The Community has been at the forefront of this kind of work with the USDA/NRCS. From our water to land development, everyone here should learn about what it takes to make those improvements in the regions and people they work with.”


Melissa Sturdivant coordinated the workshop from the USDA/NRCS. Sturdivant said the training’s goal is to “empower and armor our employers that work in every county to provide the best service for our clientele.” Sturdivant’s training is rooted in understanding the “cultural differences and barriers that may affect the delivery in services to their clients.”  


A different Tribal Community hosts each Working Effectively with Native Americans training throughout the country each session. The Community hosted this month’s training where participants toured different sites in GRIC, which included the Huhugam Heritage Center, where the Keli Akimel Hua Modk Cudkdam performed an O'otham basket dance for everyone.