Honoring Nations: Successes in Self-Governance

Explore incredible stories of Native nations rebuilding themselves

By Honoring Nations

Throughout the 21st century, Indian Country has been a part of a renaissance of governmental successes. From health care and community development, to justice and education, Native Nations are (re)building their communities. Join the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and explore stories of success....

Welcome to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

The Future of the U.S./Tribal Nations Relationship, Honoring Nations IOP Forum Event - 2007 (2007-02-05) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Founded by Professors Stephen Cornell and Joseph P. Kalt at Harvard University in 1987, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (Harvard Project) is housed at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The Future of Indigenous Self-Governance & Self-Determination, Honoring Nations IOP Forum Event - 2018 (2018-04-30) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

The Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations through applied research and service.

John Rae NYCHonoring Nations

Honoring Nations Awards

Since 1998, the Honoring Nations awards program has recognized 135+ outstanding programs. This program serves as a platform and database to share success stories in American Indian self-government. 

Project Pueblo, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo - 2010 Honoring Nations Award (2010-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

What Is "Self Governance?"

There are 573 federally recognized American Indian Tribes in the US. Each Native Nation decides the best ways for its community to grow and flourish - including how to educate children, transmit community values and traditions, and train future leaders. Each year, Honoring Nations invites tribal governments to apply for the award from across a broad range of subject areas. 

Ho-Chunk Village, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska - 2015 Honoring Nations Award (2017-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Sharing Stories of Success

Recipients of the Honoring Nations awards collectively address a wide range of issues, from employment and housing to resource management and health. These stories offer inspiring lessons for all communities. They are excellent models of thoughtful decision-making and strong leadership. They show how to make communities places where citizens thrive. View eight past awardees from each of the governmental subject areas...

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #1 - Cultural Affairs (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

The Čáw Pawá Láakni Atlas Project - They Are Not Forgotten, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation - 2016 Honoring Nations Award (2016-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success In Cultural Affairs: Čáw Pawá Láakni (They Are Not Forgotten)

Contemporary place names throughout the United States reflect the history of colonization. The explorers and settlers who named mountains, rivers, and other natural features after themselves or their heroes were unaware or indifferent to the fact that waterways, features of the land, and places already had ancient names. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have undertaken an ambitious project to organize, give preeminence to, and systematically disseminate their knowledge of the land.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #2 - Economic and Community Development (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium - 2016 Honoring Nations Award (2016-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Economic & Community Development: Alaska Rural Utility Collaboration

Indoor plumbing is a basic amenity that most Americans take for granted. In parts of rural Alaska, however, providing water and sewer service is not an easy task. The harsh climate requires special adaptations, costs are high, and many small communities lack the expertise needed to manage complex systems. To address these challenges, the Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative facilitates cooperation among Alaska Native villages to assist them with the operations of their own water and sewer systems as effectively and inexpensively as possible.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #3 - Education (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Ojibwe Language Program, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - 2010 Honoring Nations Award (1999-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Education: Ojibwe Language Program

In 1994, only 10 percent of the citizens of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe were fluent in the Band’s native language, and the youngest native speaker was 37. Declining language use was a disturbing indicator of the loss of tribal traditions. Today, the tribally funded Ojibwe Language Program serves hundreds of students, from toddlers to teenagers. The very youngest students—those in Head Start and day care programs across the reservation—spend four to eight hours a day with a fluent Ojibwe instructor. K-12 grade students at the Nay Ah Shing School attend daily Ojibwe language classes.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #4 - Environmental and Natural Resources (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Wildlife and Fisheries Management Program, Jicarilla Apache Tribe - 1999 Honoring Nations Award (1999-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Environmental and Natural Resources: Wildlife and Fisheries Management Program

Recognized by state game and fish agencies as being one of the best of its kind, the Jicarilla Apache Tribe's Program includes a game and fish code and a wildlife management fund for habitat enhancement projects. The Program restored the reservation’s mule deer population and trophy trout, and established a commercial elk hunting ranch that produces critical resources for the Tribe annually. The Jicarilla Tribe's Wildlife and Fisheries Management Program is regarded by both Indians and non-Indians as a model program. In 1987, the Southwest Section of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society honored the Jicarilla Game and Fish Department with its "Outstanding Program of the Decade" award.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #5 - Government Performance (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Project Tiwahu - Redefining Tigua Citizenship, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo - 2016 Honoring Nations Award (2016-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Government Performance: Project Tiwahu: Redefining Tigua Citizenship

Establishing the criteria for citizenship is an inherent right of national governments around the world. This right determines who can be a citizen and how citizenship is transferred through generations. Yet for Indian nations, history complicates efforts to fully exercise sovereignty. Project Tiwahu: Redefining Tigua Citizenship was an Ysleta del Sur

Pueblo-wide initiative to reform and self-determine enrollment as an exercise of tribal sovereignty. Reform efforts addressed the hard questions about belonging and built consensus around a new, more inclusive approach to tribal citizenship.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #6 - Health and Social Services (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Chickasaw Nation Sick Child Care Program (2016-07-01)Honoring Nations

A Story of Success in Health & Social Services: Chickasaw Nation Sick Child Care Program

Working parents face a dilemma when a child falls ill. Staying home to provide care or finding a relative or friend to help can be a major challenge, especially for single parents, two-worker families, and employees whose jobs offer limited flexibility. The Chickasaw Nation Sick Child Care Program offers a safe and nurturing place for mildly ill children to spend the day and gives working parents the assurance that their children are receiving proper care.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #7 - Intergovernmental Relations (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Coast Salish Gathering, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community - 2010 Honoring Nations Award (2010-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Inter-Governmental Relations: Coast Salish Gathering

The Coast Salish Gathering provides an environmental policy platform for tribal and First Nations governments, state and provincial governments, and the US and Canadian federal governments—all of which have interests in the Salish Sea region—to discuss and determine effective environmental strategies and practices. Most importantly for the Coast Salish people, however, is that it amplifies their voice on the environmental issues that matter most to them: access to toxin-free traditional foods, adequate water quality and quantity, and collective climate change policies.

Honoring Nations Sovereignty Category #8 - Justice (2018-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Native American Drug and Gang Initiative Task Force, Intertribal Nations of Wisconsin - 2016 Honoring Nations Award (2016-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

A Story of Success in Justice: Native American Drug and Gang Initiative Task Force

Drug dealers and gang members threaten the well-being of communities throughout the United States. In Indian Country, jurisdictional issues and a lack of trust in law enforcement complicate the apprehension of drug- and gang-involved offenders. Tribal Police Departments in Wisconsin formed the Native American Drug and Gang

Initiative Task Force to strengthen their ability to deal with these illegal activities with support from the tribal governments. The Task Force facilitates inter-agency cooperation and helps tribes take the lead in addressing public safety threats to their communities.

Makah Cultural Education and Revitalization Program, Makah Nation - 2006 Honoring Nations Award (2016-07-01) by Honoring Nations, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentHonoring Nations

Reflection on the work of the Honoring Nations Awards and the Harvard Project from Dr. Joseph P. Kalt, Co-Founder of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

Credits: Story

Text provided by:
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Honoring Nations Awards Program
http://www.hpaied.org

Kalt, Joseph P., et al 2008. The State of the Native Nations: Conditions Under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination. New York: Oxford University Press.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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