Tribal Management and Emergency Services (TMES) is an academic organization that focuses on Native American outreach. The UNO faculty and graduate students who are involved with TMES use academia, outreach, and research to empower members of the Native community with solutions to better respond to, and plan for manmade and natural disaster emergencies.
Edouardo Zendejas knew what kind of impact the Missouri River flooding of 2011 would have in the community. The emergency essentially “wiped out” the Omaha Tribe’s casino — dealing a huge blow to tribal members and those in the tribe who worked there.
"Whether dealing with floods, snowstorms, fires, or hailstorms, there was a lack of educational research and resources for tribes," said Zendejas. “Tribes and tribal communities are among the most vulnerable when it comes to emergencies. It’s important that we get the word out and also provide them with an opportunity to share ideas and experiences so we can help them plan for the future.”
With Patrick O’Neil, director of the UNO Emergency Services Program, Zendejas has helped develop Tribal Management and Emergency Services (TMES).
Tribes and tribal communities are among the most vulnerable when it comes to emergencies.
- Edouardo Zendejas
The new initiative, housed at the Weitz Community Engagement Center, is part academic, part outreach, and part research program. The intention is clear: to empower members of the Native community with solutions to better respond to manmade and natural disaster emergencies and to prepare for the future.
TMES is a collaboration among UNO’s Emergency Services Programs, Nebraska Tribal Governments, and the Tribal Emergency Management Association (iTEMA). Earlier this year, TMES launched two new academic tracks created specifically for members of tribal nations: a concentration within the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and a minor. Courses are delivered both in the classroom and online, maximizing access to students throughout the country. "Sharing resources is important to the success of the program and the Native community," said Zendejas.
In fall 2017, UNO created an online undergraduate certificate in Tribal Management and Emergency Services. This is the only degree program in the country dedicated emergency management policy for Native American tribal governments.
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