For far too long, the general public has framed its understanding of Native Nations from a historical lens or from popular culture stereotypes. The reality, impact, and wisdom emanating from contemporary Native Nations’ strides in self-determination are much richer. From the United States to the United Nations, the future of Indigenous sovereignty is tied to the politics and policies of the nation-states in which Indigenous communities are often embedded. The Harvard Project stands as a leader in the effort to ensure that the policies of national governments worldwide are based on respect for and sound understandings of the needs, powers, and goals of Indigenous communities and their governments. Toward addressing the needs for knowledge on Native governance and development, the Harvard Project leads:
- Programs such as online Nation Building Toolboxes to curate best practices from across Indian Country and beyond, enabling tribal nations and communities to learn from each other.
- Fellowships and research affiliations for tribal decision-makers and students of contemporary Indigenous affairs are helping to educate both current and emerging leaders, scholars, and policymakers.
- The Project’s textbooks and associated cases and curriculum development form the backbones of college, university, and executive education programs around the world.
- Leadership and management programs for tribal leaders, managers, and administrators. Executive education sessions include a review of research findings and discussions about the applicability of those findings to specific tribal development challenges. To date, thousands of individuals and hundreds of Native nations have participated in these programs. The programs stress strategic thinking, institutional development, and leadership skills over vocational training.
- Speaker Services – The faculty and professional staff of the Harvard Project are prominent as speakers at national and international venues, ranging from national legislative hearings, to media briefings, to major gatherings of policymakers and scholars.
- Field Reports & Publications – The written and electronic reports and studies of the Harvard Project represent the largest available collection of practical lessons in Indigenous community development. This knowledge is distributed to the widest extent possible to any and all interested parties.