Smith provides consultation in self-governance design and negotiations, drafting of statutes, rules, regulations and policy for every aspect of tribal government and training in tribal operations ranging from gaming, health, housing, social services and economic development. When Smith was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, (the second largest Indian nation in the United States), he led the Nation from financial chaos, operational dysfunction and governmental instability to financial soundness, operational excellence and governmental stability. He grew the assets of the Nation from $150 million to $1.2 billion, created 6,000 jobs and instituted sound governance systems, which produced exponential growth in services and operations for the Cherokee people.
Smith develops and teaches courses in tribal history, law and strategy to assist tribal nations with making better decisions. Smith is a successful attorney who has prosecuted claims in Indian Country. He taught American Indian law, American Indian history and Cherokee history at Dartmouth and other universities. Smith designed the 40-hour Cherokee history course that has been taught by the Cherokee Nation to more than 10,000 people.
Smith provides consultation and training for leadership initiatives, programs and assessments. Smith developed a leadership model that focuses on the process of going from Point A (where you are), to Point B (where you want to go). This model illustrates that at Point A, a person must have a tremendous amount of humility to understand their place in space and time, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Point B is equally challenging because that person must know where he wants to go, and have a vision and an understanding of his opportunities. Between Points A and B are curves, detours and potholes that people must have the education, skills, and motivation to navigate. Smith instituted this model during his tenure at the Cherokee Nation from 1999 to 2011. As a result, the Cherokee Nation’s assets grew from $150 million to $1.2 billion, its healthcare services increased from $18 million to $310 million, and 6,000 jobs were created. This model is applicable to business, governments and to individuals facing every day challenges.
Smith provides consultation for the organizational design and management performance of governments, non-profit and for-profit businesses. The principle based leadership management system that Smith created in 1999, drove the growth of the Cherokee Nation from 2,500 to 8,500 employees, from $150 million to $1.2 billion in assets, and from providing $18 million to $310 million in healthcare services.
Smith provides consultation for the development and design of curriculum, educational systems and facilities. Smith turned a tribal boarding school into a leadership “School of Choice” academy, increasing enrollment from 205 to 400, with a 150 student waiting list. Academic scores, athletic championships, and scholarship awards for seniors improved dramatically. He also started and developed a Cherokee language K-6th grade immersion school where 100 students became fluent and literate in the Cherokee language. He also created a one-stop higher education office for scholarship search, advisement and performance for college students and awarded $27 million in scholarships.
Smith develops tribal economies by identifying competitive intelligence for an area, defining industry cluster sites, determining feasibility, starting or recruiting businesses and aligning education systems to grow the selected economy. During Smith’s tenure, he created 6,000 jobs in gaming, technology, aerospace assembly, environmental protection and healthcare services.
Smith develops art initiatives, museums and cultural tourism. He developed and instituted a cultural tourism plan for the Cherokee Nation that included renovating the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court building, the Cherokee National Penitentiary, the John Ross Museum and he renovated the Works Progress Administration “WPA” building into a Cherokee art center. He began the Cherokee Art Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which, in four years, became one of the top four Indian art markets in the United States. Smith is also a sculptor who created and co-authored a book on Cherokee art and culture entitled, “Building one Fire” published by the University of Oklahoma. He also developed the architecture and art plans for ten communities within the Cherokee Nation to comprehensively tell the history of the Cherokee Nation. He was the Executive Producer for the Native American Music Award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir, which released ten CDs of gospel and patriotic songs in the Cherokee language.