20th Anniversary Logo

The new Tribal Law & Policy Institute logo was created by Native artist Sam English (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) in 2010 for a major TLPI project--the National Resource Center for Tribes. Over the last 24 years, Sam English has created approximately 80 poster print images for various American Indian programs relating to healing, environment, and education. Then, and now, the logo embraces a vision that is rich in symbolism:

 

"To facilitate the empowerment of Native Nations to nurture the safety, permanence and well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native children, families, and communities by offering culturally relevant information, resources and technical assistance so that the dreams and sacrifices of their ancestors are fulfilled and honored."

 

While no logo or symbol can represent all tribes, this logo captures certain symbols common to most Native people. 

 

This logo represents a vision of past, present, and future, through the depiction of children, adults, and elders encircled by the protective eagle's wings. The extended family is in the center of the circle to honor the families and communities that we serve. According to some 

teachings, the West represents the beginning of all life and the direction of the Spirit World. The family is facing West to honor the ancestors who continue to help us from the Spirit world.

 

The circle that wraps around the extended family is created by the eagle's wings and ancestor spirits. The circle symbol is an important symbol for most American Indian/Alaska Native people. The circle represents the cyclical patterns of the natural world: the four seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter; the four stages of life - birth, childhood/youth, adulthood, elder; the four directions – North, East, South & West; the four parts of the Self – body, emotions, intellect, and spirit and the sacred medicine wheel.

 

The eagle is an important symbol of protection for most American Indian/Alaska Native people. For many tribes, eagles are considered sacred messengers to and from the Creator.  Eagle feathers are used in many ceremonies and also signify great achievement and bravery. The Eagle has great vision and the ability to see both far (the big picture) and near (the smallest details). We aspire to be able to see the big picture of tribal systems but also see the individual needs of the tribal community members served by these systems.

 

Finally, we honor the sacrifices that our ancestors made for us to continue on as Native people and Native nations, through the depiction of ancestral faces within the Eagle’s wing. Our work is motivated and inspired by our ancestors’ prayers that their children and grandchildren may live.

 

 

“We [Native people] are the answers to our ancestors’ prayers."

                                                                   -Author unknown