Honoring Nations, An Invitation

It is with great enthusiasm I announce that Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations (Honoring Nations) is now accepting applications for Honoring Nations 20--. Since 1998, Honoring Nations has been identifying, celebrating, and sharing outstanding examples of tribal governance. 

Along with my colleagues on the Honoring Nations Board of Governors and the staff of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, I invite you to participate in Honoring Nations 20--. Whether you submit an application or nominate a candidate, you are making an important contribution to the promotion of good governance throughout Indian Country. By sharing your success stories and knowledge, you demonstrate the vitality and promise of Indian Country while also contributing to future generations.


OL signature

Oren R. Lyons 
Chairman, Honoring Nations Board of Governors

Nominate a Program

Eligibility Requirements


To be eligible for an Honoring Nations award, the contribution to good governance (i.e., the program, practice, or initiative) must:

  • Be administered under the authority of an American Indian nation or Alaska Native community (or an office, division, or agency thereof) that played a formative role in designing and implementing the Contribution.
  • Be submitted by the tribal government office, division, or agency responsible for oversight and/or administration of the Contribution. NOTE: Partnerships with other entities (nonprofits, private organizations, or other governmental entities) are encouraged, but the application must be submitted by a tribal government or tribal government entity.
  • Have been in operation for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline.
  • Note: Multiple applications from a single nation are welcome, and programs that have applied for an award in previous awards are encouraged to re-apply if not they were not previously awarded Honors or High Honors.

Selection Criteria

At each stage of the selection process, applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Effectiveness – The Contribution achieves positive and measurable results in addressing a key concern, problem, or challenge facing the nation and its citizens.
  • Significance to Sovereignty – The Contribution strengthens self-governance and self-determination for the nation.
  • Cultural Relevance - The Contribution fits, reflects, and strengthens the nation's culture.
  • Transferability - The Contribution's concepts, principles, and practices apply to other governments.
  • Sustainability - The Contribution shows promise of sustained effectiveness.