No one in Nevada does what we do, period. As an Indigenous organization, we make conscious choices about the lives we want at this moment and the futures we want to experience. We advocate for our communities, operate as the bridge for internal-and-external networking, and create the necessary infrastructure in the state for grassroots organizing in Indian Country. We stimulate thought, find solutions, and uplift the historically marginalized and disenfranchised.
We, the people of Tribal Minds, Inc., are determined to liberate future generations from the scourge of poverty, disillusionment, and inequities of humanity. We are committed in every way possible to being good relatives and critical thinkers for the betterment of this planet.
As a Native-led grassroots nonprofit in Nevada, we take a statewide approach to the work. There are 27 federally-recognized Tribes and Colonies of Nevada, all of whom with which we strive to maintain and build healthy working relationships. Tribal Minds aims to spark a movement across Nevada and within other parts of Indian Country to challenge the business-as-usual attitudes of other organizations, community spaces, and industry standards. Our organization is supported by its founder, Brian “BB” Melendez, along with our Board of Directors assisted by a network of experienced staff. Through Melendez's leadership and experience, Tribal Minds imagines and creates the organizational capacity for sustainable Native-forward initiatives.
We had a mission to serve our communities that suffered greatly from enormous disparities during an existential crisis. We saw a need in the Tribal space where a third-party organization could provide an alternative perspective and skillset when needed the most. In our efforts to be kind, considerate, and valuable, we discovered a road full of possibilities and endless opportunities in the winter of uncertainty.
Our purpose was to be a voice of reason and a network of dependable relatives. We knew that our people needed us, even if they didn’t fully understand what we were trying to accomplish. As practical realists and hopeful spiritualists, we persevered to find a way that made sense for us. So, here we are.
Tribal Minds, Inc. was born in the spring of 2020 during the onset of the global pandemic.
Tribal Minds operates under three essential values:
We desire healthy relationships with the people, organizations, entities, and movements that we are energetically, spiritually, and purposefully aligned with. We don't have to work with everyone. We work with others who are similarly dedicated to Indigenous futures.
Our intention to represent our Indigenous roots in spaces where we’ve yet to be is important to us. It’s equally essential for us to be open-minded and open-hearted as we make new relationships, which we seek to bring intentionality to at all times.
Our goal is to uplift our people and the land. We want to present our communities with opportunities and dreams of better futures. We believe that everyone deserves human dignity, and we want to co-create with those who feel the same way.
Tribal Minds, Inc. is a Native-led nonprofit organization with a history and purpose are rooted in the Tribal communities of Northern Nevada. Through collective, grassroots organizing, the organization manifests the opportunities of tomorrow. We decided on the name “Tribal Minds, Inc.” because of the intrinsic Tribal nature in all people. As a progressive collective, we witness so much untapped power, mental elasticity, and fortitude of the people often described as the truly disenfranchised. Yet, we see the big picture and accept the responsibility required to co-create the world we envision; for ourselves and all future generations, ergo Tribal Minds Inc.
As a Tribal Think Tank, we see the need in our communities to expand our sovereignty through unique problem-solving. We recognize the power of Indigenous communities and those of other marginalized groups in the so-called Americas. We must create and control our destiny. Our stated goals are to create safe spaces for Indigenous advocacy, education, and wellbeing. We are redefining Indigenous lifeways and mindfully engineering a network of civically-engaged communities. More importantly, we’re making room for people of substance who will occupy and care for those spaces once we’re gone.
Our motto is: Native solutions for Native issues. We meticulously create caring and inclusive organizing environments to develop best practices that reinforce personal respect for the common good of the People and the Land. By purposefully re-imagining our own mental spaces in how we experience and respect our own lives, we can tangibly develop the types of initiatives we want to see in the world. Our revolution is an internal one. Tribal Minds is the product of and ingredient for a decisive ground game.
We intend to help Indigenous peoples to live as creators of their own destinies. That progress begins with healing the root causes of trauma and creating new realities. The essential advantage we possess to engineer the macro-and-micro solutions we desire is the longstanding healthy relationships we have maintained within Indian Country, academic institutions, multi-faith organizations, local and national nonprofits, foundations, and most importantly, the 27 Tribes and Colonies of Nevada.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Tribal Minds, Inc. based?
Where do you operate?
We are a statewide Native-led nonprofit that aims to empower Tribal spaces in rural and urban Nevada. Our focus is on remote Indian reservations that often get overlooked and underfunded. We have strong alliances with most Tribes of Nevada, grassroots organizers, and other in-state leaders that work to bring attention to the Tribal needs of the Great Basin. When we support the strengthening of Tribal sovereignty, we all win. If it's in Nevada, it's our business!
Tribal Minds, Inc. originated on the Hungry Valley Indian Reservation, a Tribal Community of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. Currently, we are based in Reno, Nevada as we serve Tribal communities across the state. We understand Reno to be a center where Tribal people across the Great Basin work, live, find community, and find each other.
What Organizations or Institutions are you willing to work with?
Who do you provide services to?
Tribal Minds is a fiscally-sponsored organization that is excited to work with anyone who wants to see the advancement of the Indigenous People of Nevada. We aim to collaborate with institutions that energetically align with our mission and purpose. We wish to build relationships that are prosperous and healthy and center the People and the Land. So if you have a program or project in mind, let’s make something happen.
At Tribal Minds, no one will be turned away, but we prioritize those in the greatest need first and foremost. The organization aims to ensure our Tribal communities receive opportunities not often afforded to them. As a result, we accrue higher buy-in rates and fulfill a more inclusive vision by diversifying our programming. We place a strong emphasis on uplifting the BIPOC communities of Nevada and all other marginalized individuals. Because we understand that we are all relations: when we help others, we help ourselves!