LSU NCBRT/ACE Marks Six Months of Tribal Public Safety Dialogue Sessions


As part of its efforts to build upon its relationships with tribal nations and tribal emergency responders, LSU NCBRT/ACE has begun hosting monthly, virtual Tribal Public Safety Dialogue Sessions.

These open forum sessions are held monthly, focusing on an emergency management topic or issue. The sessions serve as a space for tribal citizens and responders to share their experiences, challenges and success stories. Each session features tribal officials as guest speakers and LSU NCBRT/ACE subject matter experts.

“We hope that these sessions serve as a place for tribal responders to connect and network as well as develop and enhance their preparedness capabilities,” said LSU NCBRT/ACE Operations and Plans Assistant Director Deyvon Cooper. “NCBRT/ACE is striving to meet the needs of the tribal responder community as we are aware it has been a historically underserved community. These dialogue sessions are just one part of our mission to improve our outreach to Indian Country.”

The first session, a conversation on the COVID-19 pandemic effects and vaccine distribution efforts in tribal communities, was held Tuesday, April 13th. Speakers included Dr. Jamechia D. Hoyle, a public health professional and LSU NCBRT/ACE subject matter expert; Jessica Mesa-Saldana, Training and Exercise Coordinator with Tohono O’odham Nation Department of Public Safety Office of Emergency Management; and Tim Zientek, Director of Emergency Management for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Chair of the Inter-Tribal Emergency Management Coalition in Oklahoma.

Since its launch in April, LSU NCBRT/ACE has hosted five additional dialogue sessions:

  • May: COVID-19 Updates and discussions on re-opening
  • June: Active Shooters on Tribal Land Part 1: The Oneida Casino/Hotel Incident discussed by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Chairman Tehassi Hill and Vice Chair Brandon Yellow Bird Stevens
  • July: Active Shooters on Tribal Land Part 2: Historical Perspective, Lessons Learned, and the importance of a designated Public Information Officer
  • August: COVID-19 Update and Managing Public Information During an Incident
  • September: Responder Mental Health and Mental Fatigue
  • October: Run. Hide. Fight. paradigm for tribal community citizens

Over 450 tribal responders, public health professionals, and community leaders have participated in the sessions since April. 

“It was amazing to have Native Instructors from Indian Country to facilitate such an important and necessary training,” said Towatoy Bourgeau, Director of Security for the Nez Perce Clearwater River Casino and Lounge. “The instructors were top notch and the training material was invaluable.”

In addition to the dialogue sessions, LSU NCBRT/ACE also released a series of podcast episodes that highlight the history of emergency response in tribal nations and the evolution of tribal relations with the federal government. Guest speakers for this series included LSU NCBRT/ACE Tribal Liaisons Steve Golubic, Ojibwe and former Director of Tribal Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security; and Robert Holden, Choctaw/Chickasaw and former Deputy Director for the National Congress of American Indians.

 “Working on the podcasts has given me the opportunity to reflect on how much tribal government officials and tribal responders have stepped up to the plate to implement emergency plans and protocols to better protect their communities,” Holden said. “I also am appreciative of the progress NCBRT/ACE has made to provide expert responder training to tribal governments with an eye to build on this progress in the coming years.”

The next Tribal Public Safety Dialogue session will be held in January 2022. To receive updates on upcoming dialogue sessions and other tribal emergency response resources, tribal responders are encouraged to subscribe to LSU NCBRT/ACE’s tribal email list.



LSU NCBRT/ACE is a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We provide mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community. LSU NCBRT/ACE has expertise in research, development and delivery of training in the areas of specialized law enforcement operations; biological incident response; food and agriculture safety and security; school safety; and instructional design and technique. For more information on LSU NCBRT/ACE’s courses and resources, please visit