Northspan is Hiring: Consultant & Tribal Liaison

Position: Consultant & Tribal Liaison

Status: Full Time, Exempt, Salary

Reports to: President

Join our team! We are an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering systems that provide voice and opportunity for ALL, especially for those most marginalized in our society. We strongly encourage applications from those marginalized by society and/or who are members of marginalized communities.

Northspan is seeking a Consultant & Tribal Liaison with some years of experience to draw from working in and with Indigenous communities and Native Nations. This position will support the DAWN (Driving Access to Wealth & Networks) program and focus on building relationships with entrepreneurial clients and Indigenous communities across Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin including the following Native Nations: 

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Red Lake Nation
  • Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Northspan is based in Duluth, Minnesota and is a critical resource for businesses, organizations, and communities that need solid and dependable research services, professional technical support, and financial assistance to advance their projects.

VISION Engage & Elevate

MISSION To be expert navigators, transforming ideas into accomplishments.


  • Inclusive: We facilitate intentional engagement of stakeholders and seek common solutions to community, business, and organizational challenges.
  • Trustworthy: We earn the loyalty of our clients by operating ethically, reliably, confidentially, and with integrity.
  • Stewards: We carefully manage the resources entrusted to us and focus on the long-term well-being of our clients and programmatic service areas.
  • Adaptable: We offer a broad range of expertise which enables us to seize new opportunities and tailor our offerings to meet our clients’ needs.
  • Diligent: We provide satisfaction to our clients by delivering excellent customer service and clear results.

Northspan specializes in creative thinking, enterprising strategies, and systematic approaches to help businesses, communities, regions, and organizations prosper in a global economy. Our professional staff work cooperatively with economic and community development partners to leverage resources for measurable, sustainable results. As a private, nonprofit consulting firm, we work quietly and confidentially to move projects forward on time and on budget by providing critical, gap capacity support that exceeds client expectations.



The goal of this position is to build bridges across communities to increase access to resources and opportunities for Tribal community members. It is focused on building partnerships with Native Nations, government agencies, Indigenous-led non-profits, and other key stakeholders to support investments in entrepreneurial ecosystems and food systems by delivering associated technical assistance, facilitation, and project development resources as further defined below.

Developing start-up entrepreneurs, providing small business technical assistance and fund access:

  • Strengthening existing Indigenous-owned small businesses
  • Acting as liaison with Tribal governments
  • Acting as facilitator between Tribal governments and small businesses
  • Identifying resources and opportunities for Tribal entrepreneurs and business owners
    • Open-ended curriculum to help build upon ideas
    • Access to early-stage funding and capital providers
    • Access to networks and mentoring supports

Strengthening Tribal food systems while increasing food access:

  • Providing business resources and technical assistance to Tribal food producers
  • Increasing opportunities for Tribal food producers to access funds, land, and equipment to produce more food
  • Increasing market opportunities for the sale of Indigenous foods



With several years of experience to draw from, the Consultant co-manages and develops skills in business, community, and organizational development consulting services. Consultants provide a more nuanced and refined approach to services for public and private clients including units of government, non-profit organizations, lending institutions, and private businesses.

This position has the opportunity to support Northspan consulting services in Business, Community, and Organization Development as necessary and as skillsets allow.

Business Development:

  • Structure and facilitate financing for projects
  • Provide expertise in packaging loan and grant applications
  • Partner with communities and financial institutions to provide loan program support services
  • Partner with community banks to provide Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a Loan Guaranty program services
  • Provide accredited business valuation and succession planning
  • Meet with aspiring and current business owners one-on-one to conduct needs assessments

Community Development:

  • Coordinate and facilitate critical conversations
  • Assist with strategic support and gap capacity for communities and regional partnerships
  • Assist with strategies for diversification, change, and sustainable growth
  • Critically examine, research, and analyze opportunities and challenges
  • Provide policy recommendations and process for change

Organizational Development:

  • Coordinate and facilitate strategic planning processes
  • Provide technical assistance for change, growth management, and development
  • Provide meeting management and planning services
  • Facilitate economic adjustment, crisis response, and readiness planning initiatives
  • Conduct project feasibility studies and economic impact analyses



  • Experience to draw from working in and with Indigenous communities and Native Nations.
  • 2+ years of progressively responsible, relevant experience in relevant fields
  • Combination of analytical, decision making, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work as a part of a team and under minimal supervision
  • Good problem-solving ability and organization skills
  • Interact with public and private clients and present technical information precisely and clearly
  • Good analytical, numerical, and research skills
  • Microsoft Office Suite (O365) including Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook and video conferencing (Zoom)
  • Internet browser and search engine use on handheld and desktop devices
  • Ability to prioritize and organize a daily workload
  • Must be able to meet deadlines in a fast-paced quickly changing environment
  • A proactive approach to problem-solving with strong decision-making skills
  • Professional level verbal and written communications skills
  • Timely, detailed, and process oriented



  • Asana, Survey Monkey, and CoSchedule which are regularly used in our organization
  • Digital social platforms including LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Constant Contact or other email software or open-source tools
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite and/or WordPress



  • Technology of Participation Facilitation Methods
  • Unless already held by the chosen applicant, within the first 1-5 years, this consultant will also be supported to potentially work toward certifications with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the National Development Council (NDC),



  • This position’s negotiable salary range is $65,000 – $75,000, based on experience
    • Consultant general salary range, $65,000 – $88,000
  • Optional health and dental benefits
    • Northspan pays 85% of the health premium cost for single or family coverage and 100% for your single or family dental
  • Northspan pays 100% of your short- and long-term disability, and 100% of the premium for life insurance in an amount equal to your salary
  • In recognition of the diverse heritage of each employee and to support an inclusive workplace, full-time employees have seventeen (17) PTO days or 136 hours to use each year, to be used at the employee’s discretion. PTO can be used for office closed holidays, Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST), a mental health day, or a personal day off. PTO will be prorated for part time employees, based on hours scheduled to work. In compliance with Minnesota’s ESST regulations, employees have at least one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours of PTO per year. Unused PTO does not carry over from year-to-year and will not be paid upon separation of employment.
  • A monthly parking reimbursement of up to $80.00 per month
  • A monthly cell phone reimbursement of up to $80.00 per month
  • Northspan contributes 7% of your full-time annual pay to a SEP Retirement Plan
  • A Wellness Benefit reimbursement of up to $400 per calendar year
  • Vacation benefit accrual rate per full pay period of 4.5 hours, there are 24 pay periods a year which equals about 13.5 days (this is based on 40 hours, it is pro-rated for less than 40 hours). After your first year of employment this increases to 6 hours/pay period or 18 days/year.



Email your Resume and Letter of Interest to Northspan President & CEO, Elissa Hansen, This position is open until filled.