Harvard Project Releases Application for Honoring Nations 2000 Awards Program Identifies,
Celebrates and Shares Tribal Government Success Stories
CAMBRIDGE -- The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government
released its 2000 application for Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations (known as
"Honoring Nations"). Honoring Nations identifies, celebrates and shares outstanding examples of governance
among American Indian nations. This is the second year of the tribal governance awards program.
Modeled after similar awards programs supported by the Ford Foundation in Brazil, the United States, the Philippines
and South Africa, Honoring Nations asks tribal governments to submit a short application that describes their
outstanding program, practice or initiative. Guided by a 13-member Advisory Board chaired by Chief Oren Lyons of
the Onondaga Nation, and comprised of distinguished leaders from the tribal, public, non-profit and private sectors,
applications are judged on the basis of the contribution's effectiveness, significance, transferability, creativity
and sustainability. Following several rounds of evaluation, including a site visit for the 16 finalists, eight
programs are awarded "high honors" and eight are awarded "honors" in the fall. Each of the
"high honors" recipients receives a $10,000 monetary award to share their governance success story with
other Indian nations. In addition, the Harvard Project works with all 16 honorees to compile and distribute reports
and materials for widespread dissemination.
"Despite the challenges Indian nations face, many outstanding tribal government programs are setting examples
of "best practices" that should be spotlighted," according to Andrew Lee, who directs the awards
program. "Honoring Nations serves to spread these incredible success stories so that all of Indian Country
can learn from them." Honoring Nations is grounded in
the Harvard Project's 13 years of research and fieldwork, which consistently demonstrate the importance of capable,
effective governing institutions in building and sustaining strong, healthy Indian nations.
The honorees for the inaugural year of Honoring Nations represented contributions ranging across such areas as
health care, social services, education, judicial systems, wildlife management, economic development, and environmental
protection. Among the eight "high honors" recipients for 1999 was a tribal judicial branch that uses
peacemaking to resolve disputes; an
education program that uses modern technology to teach youth traditional language and culture; and a tribally-initiated
foster care agency that has increased the number of licensed Indian foster families.
Joe Kalt, co-founder of the Harvard Project and a professor of international political economy at Harvard, notes,
"Last year's winners clearly show how Indian nations can be very successful when they seize control of their
own futures, govern themselves on their own terms, and put in place effective institutions of self-governance."
Kalt adds, "These programs are not just excellent for Indian Country, but truly represent some of the best
government practices found anywhere in the world."
Completed applications for Honoring Nations 2000 are due on April 21, 2000.
To receive an application or to inform the Harvard Project about an
outstanding tribal government program, practice or initiative, contact Andrew Lee, Executive Director for Programs
at (617) 496-6632 or by e-mail at
Applications may also be downloaded at www.ksg.harvard.edu/hpaied.