Native Nations Institute Study Trip

January in Tucson study trip

A highlight of the EMBA IBL is the study trip to the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI) in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Every year, NNI runs “January in Tucson” (JIT)—a 3-week session of courses—at the University of Arizona campus. The event attracts students from all over the world, and the NNI faculty is at the forefront of research into Indigenous governance and economic development.

Stephen Cornell, EMBA IBL faculty member and founder of the Harvard Project on American Indian Development is a member of the JIT faculty.

About the NNI

Located on Tohono O’odham Nation traditional homelands in Tucson, NNI was founded in 2001 by The University of Arizona and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation as a self-determination, self-governance, and development resource for Native nations in the United States. NNI assists in building capable Native nations that can effectively pursue and ultimately realize their own political, economic, and community development objectives.

Learn more about NNI

About the study trip


JIT takes place during three weeks in January. The EMBA IBL cohort will travel in two groups so as not to overwhelm NNI’s resources. We will determine who is in which group during the first semester of the program.

Program and credits

  • NNI courses will replace one class (a total of four credits) in the EMBA IBL.
  • Each one-credit NNI course consists of three one half day sessions. There are pre-readings and assignments or take-home exams.
  • You will take four NNI courses for a total of four credits.


Although Beedie is subsidizing the trip by over $2,000 per student, students have to pay an additional tuition cost of $2,000 - $4,000 that will be added into the SFU tuition. That means you pay through SFU and your funder will be invoiced through SFU. Excursions in Tucson are included in the tuition cost.

Travel costs

Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and the cost of flights.


Accommodation is your choice. You can share, or book individually. As well as opportunities through VRBO and Airbnb, group rates may be available at: