Society of American Indian Government Employees

Honoring Our Ancestors Through Government Service
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SAIGE Youth Leaders are very excited to invite you to fill out an application to join us, June 19-22, 2023, for our acclaimed Youth Program in Tulsa, OK. The Youth program will introduce you to other young native people (18-25) from different tribal communities while offering an enlightening and uplifting training opportunity focused on federal, tribal and state government careers. If accepted, all travel and food will be at no cost to you. Hotel accommodations will be provided, with two persons per room. For more information and to apply, scan the QR code on the flyer and it will take you to the application.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in Tulsa!



Washington, D.C.
March 3, 2023
Contacts: SAIGE Chair, Fredericka Joseph,
SAIGE Training Co-Chairs: Sue Morris at and/or Jay Spaan at

SAIGE 20th National Training Program
The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) will hold its 20th National Training Program June 20th – 22nd, 2023, at the River Spirit Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This venue is owned and operated by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and rooms are priced at government perdiem rates for Tulsa.

This year’s theme is: “Tribal Nations Soaring to New Heights”. For the first time in history, there is a strong representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives at the highest levels of government, leading agencies in financial, sciences, agricultural, natural resources, and educational arenas. These are just a few areas where Indigenous people are achieving greatness in government while supporting and building a stronger nation.

Our training provides forums on the most current issues facing American Indians and Alaska Native employees, tribes, and people we serve. The plenary sessions include dynamic presenters from Indian Country and government leaders. Workshops are presented by outstanding knowledgeable speakers in their specialties. Sessions are designed in these areas: Federal Indian Law and Policy; Leadership and Professional Development; Natural/Cultural Resources; and EEO/Diversity issues.

SAIGE is excited to invite students back for our robust Youth Program. Designed to develop native students, ages 18 – 25 years old with leadership training, it gives them important skills to choose career paths and succeed in their chosen fields.

SAIGE proudly supports our Warrior Society Program, developed for and by veterans, that offers training specific to the needs of veterans and active-duty military by highlighting available federal benefits. This one-day symposium exposes attendees to various agencies and veterans’ organizations that serve them.  All veterans and military are invited to attend at no cost.

Registration for the SAIGE National Training Program will be available within the next few weeks. The early bird fee will be $625; basic online $700; and onsite $750. Discounts may be available for groups, SAIGE lifetime members, and government retirees, as well as tribal government employees. Please continue to monitor our website at  for updates.

The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) is a national 501c (3) non-profit organization representing American Indian and Alaska Native Federal, Tribal, State, and local government employees. SAIGE was formed to promote their recruitment, retention, equal treatment, and advancement within the government and to assist government agencies in honoring the unique Federal-Tribal relationship.

SAIGE is pleased to announce the recipient of the Carol Jorgensen Scholarship for Environmental Stewardship for 2022.

Mr. Peter Thais, who is studying Biological Engineering at Cornell University was chosen in December, 2022, to receive the monetary scholarship to support his studies. He intends to focus on the use of traditional ecological knowledge in the field of engineering to utilize solutions to modern day problems in the realm of environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation.
Peter is part of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and active in his Indigenous community at home and within Cornell University.
Congratulations Peter!

Portrait of Luke Jone

Luke Jones

Luke is a Senior Analyst in EPA’s American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) and has helped lead EPA’s tribal program for more than 20 years. As a lineal descendant of the Chickahominy and Pamunkey Indians of Virginia, Luke has worked to improve federal Indian program administration more than 30-years and is an active member of the Native American community. Luke leads EPA’s Direct Implementation Work Group, coordinating EPA program implementation activities for Indian country, and Chairs the EPA American Indian and Alaska Native Special Emphasis Program Advisory Council. Prior to his current roles, Luke provided senior administrative and project management support for EPA’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) – the largest tribal environmental financial assistance program at EPA – for more than fifteen years.

Luke also served as Director of the EPA Region 5 Indian Environmental Office (2006-2010) after holding a number of EPA tribal program positions in Washington, DC. Before joining EPA in 1999, Luke worked for the U.S. Department of Defense Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (1997-1999), the National Tribal Environmental Council (1996-1997), and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management tribal programs (1991-1995). Luke received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University (1991), a Master of Public Administration degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (1996) and is a frequent speaker and presenter on topics relating to federal Indian policy and tribal environmental program administration.

My goal in serving on the SAIGE board is to maximize federal employment opportunities for our Native American community through expanded inter-agency collaboration. Specifically, I hope to help establish lasting institutional infrastructure for federal agencies interested in hosting paid Native American interns and offering internship experiences that qualify for academic credits. I also hope to promote strategic federal workforce planning to improve federal agency capacity to identify Indian country employment opportunities under their unique programs.

SAIGE is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2022 Carol Jorgensen Scholarship. $1000 will be given to one undergraduate native student studying the environmental sciences – or related – disciplines. Please see the attached announcement for details and spread the word to students and schools you may know. Thank you!

NOTE: The deadline has been extended until Nov. 30, 2022. Please distribute to your own networks and help a deserving student further their education.

Click here to download the application notice.

A popular aspect of the SAIGE National Training program is our Youth Track, that provides college and high school students insight into federal, tribal and state government careers. This program is offered for FREE.

The Youth track will also be open to middle school students this year. Our Youth Director, JoAnn Brant, is excited to announce that Registration is now open for the Youth track, happening June 21- 22, 2022. If you have any questions about it please contact her at

Students may get more information and register by going to

2019 Youth Track, Buffalo NY

The purpose of the SAIGE Military Meritorious Award is to recognize individuals who wear or have worn the uniform and made contributions above and beyond the mission, along with contributing to the promotion of American Indian / Alaskan Native culture.

The 2022 recipients will be honored at the SAIGE virtual National Training Program (NTP) on Wednesday 22 June 2022 during the Recognition and Appreciation event.

Congratulations to all the 2022 SAIGE Military Meritorious Service Awards Winners!

Adams II, Gary R., City of Phoenix Police Department, USN, USMC and USA veteran
Brinkley, Matthew P., Commander, USCG
Edwardson, Robert, USCG, retired USCG veteran
Hudson, Sissy, US Corps of Engineers
Lockman II, Randolp R., SFC, WI ARNG
Mergenthaler, David L. Jr., GS12 USCG, retired USCG veteran
Peshlakai, Otis M., SSgt, USMC
Sturdivant, Melissa, GS9, USDA, USA veteran
Thompson III, Douglas W., 1LT, USA
Wright, Jody, LTC, USA

Read the announcement HERE.

Registration for the SAIGE National Training Program, Celebrating 20 Years of Respect, Culture and Education, is now open for Early Bird registration! It will be held June 21- 23, 2022. Register by May 20 and you can get a significant discount at $375. Starting May 21 it will rise to $415. Go to for more information and to register.

The SAIGE Spring Newsletter, the Talking Leaf, is now available for downloading. You can access it through this LINK or links on the Homepage. We hope you enjoy reading about our members’ activities and the upcoming National Training Program in June.

Greetings SAIGE –

As we start a new year we have decided to publish our newsletter, the Talking Leaf three times a year. You will see Winter, Spring and Fall editions. This will help to keep you more updated on SAIGE activities and give you an opportunity to share your stories with SAIGE too.

If you have an idea for a story, please submit it to our Talking Leaf Editor, Georgia Madrid, at The Winter 2022 Talking Leaf is now available for downloading.


Contact Us


Mailing Address:
17706 N. Peoria
Skiatook, OK 74070

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