Frequently Asked Questions

Career Basics

The Leadership Track of Career Basics are free and open to self-identifying Native American youth ages 18-26 years old.

A premium program with more in-depth modules will be available at a future date. For more information, please email

We will be offering free Career Basics Leadership Track sessions in the winter, spring, and fall. See below for exact date. Registration for each session closes at midnight eastern time on the first day of the program, except during the summer. Students enrolling after day one will automatically be enrolled in the next available session.

Winter Session Program Dates: December 23, 2019 - February 16, 2020 (extended)
Registration Dates: November 30 - December 23, 2019

Spring Session Program Dates: March 30 - May 31, 2020
Registration Dates: February 1 - March 30, 2020

Summer Session Program Dates: June 15 - August 15, 2020
Registration Dates: open registration from May 31 - July 20

Self-identifying Native American/indigenous youth between the ages of 18-26 are eligible to register for the Career Basics. Those who complete Career Basics and are 20-26 years old may apply for the Leadership Summit.
No, participants do not have to be from a NAFOA member tribe to be eligible to participate in Career Basics or the Leadership Summit.

Participants may proceed at their own pace during their registered program dates. Typically, participants spend 8-12 hours to complete the curriculum.

Applicants for the NAFOA Leadership Summit must be available to travel and attend during the Summit and NAFOA Fall Conference dates (September 20-22, 2020). Selected participants should plan to arrive at Pechanga, CA on September 19, 2020.

Yes! We encourage all interested youth ages 18 - 26 to register in Career Basics. You can still register and participate for Career Basics during the program dates even if you are unable to attend the Leadership Summit in September.

Yes, slightly. In 2019, we received good feedback from Academy participants and have improved our online youth programming. NAFOA Career Basics addresses the same principles as the Academy in a more streamlined matter.

Educators and youth program coordinators may request a facilitators guide that provides more insight into the curriculum and offers guidance for successfully leading a local youth cohort through Career Basics. Please email for more information.

Leadership Summit

To be eligible for the Summit, applicants must:

  • Be a self-identifying Native American youth between 20-26 years old by the NAFOA Leadership Summit and Conference dates;
  • Actively participate and complete Career Basics before the Leadership Summit dates;
  • Reside within the continental United States at the time of the program (i.e., applicant does not need to travel from/to outside the US); and
  • Be available to attend during the program dates, including travel before and after; and
  • Submit a completed application by August 10, 2020.

No, applicants do not have to be enrolled in a member tribe to be eligible to apply for the scholarship and/or attend the Summit and Conference.

If you have previously completed the Academy program, you are eligible to apply directly for the 2020 Leadership Summit. You must confirm your Academy completion status by emailing Please provide your first and last name and your registration email within the email body.

The NAFOA Leadership Summit will take place the day before the NAFOA Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference on September 20, 2020 in Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA. Accepted participants are also expected to stay during the NAFOA Conference dates on October 21-22, 2019.

The deadline for funding is 11:59pm ET on August 10, 2020.

Need-based Funding

To be eligible for need-based, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for the Summit (see above) and complete the need-based funding questions in the Leadership Summit application.

The Leadership Summit funding provides support for the costs associated with participation in the program. Funding is available for travel/transportation, hotel costs, conference registration fees, and the NAFOA Leadership Summit program fees.

Additionally, the dress code for the NAFOA Leadership Summit and NAFOA Conference is strictly business formal. To help attendees meet this expectation a $125.00 clothing stipend is available for all accepted program participants.

The Leadership Summit application will ask applicants if they are interested in applying for funding. Please complete this section along with the rest of the Summit application.

Funding recipients will be notified before the end of August. NAFOA will cover travel (except driving mileage), hotel, program, and registration fees upfront. The clothing stipend will be available as a reimbursement.