A generation of racial conflict makes it difficult for students from the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to succeed at the district high school. Since 1998, the Intercultural Leadership Initiative has provided academic and social opportunities, promoted understanding and friendship, and helped youth overcome their prejudices.
Although the state of Oklahoma has one of the largest prison systems in the US, it provides released prisoners with little post-incarceration support. Many struggle to find their way on the “outside” and are eventually re-incarcerated. In the early 2000s, the Muscogee Nation set out to tackle this problem. The Nation’s Reintegration Program works with tribal citizens before and after they leave prison, paying attention to everything from jobs and housing to counseling and spiritual needs.
At the turn of the 20th century, the U.S. government abolished the 1881 Osage Nation Constitution and imposed rules for land ownership and citizenship. Many Osage citizens were disenfranchised and the Tribal Council was granted only limited powers, leading to years of weak government, corruption, and turmoil. Over 100 years later, the Osage Government Reform Initiative began the task of designing a new government that would better represent and serve all Osages. As a result of the Initiative, the Osage Nation adopted a new constitution in June 2006. Written by the Osage people, it has brought back into the tribal community the thousands of citizens who had once been excluded.
In the Ramah Chapter of the Navajo Nation — as in many parts of Indian Country — late detection of breast cancer leads to disproportionally high rates of breast cancer mortality. Ramah Navajo’s Pine Hill Health Center devised a creative response: it launched a series of “Mammo Days,” educational and social outings designed to encourage Navajo women to get regular breast cancer exams. Highly popular, Mammo Days meet a critical need in a culturally sensitive and medically effective way.
“It is not cool to hit or be hit” is the straightforward motto of Project Falvmmichi, a school-based program of the Choctaw Nation designed to tackle the problem of domestic violence. The program teaches elementary school students positive ways to deal with anger and resolve conflicts. Today, more than 300 teen mentors work with second graders in over thirty public schools. Violent behavior harms the Choctaw Nation’s citizens, families, and future — but through Project Falvmmichi, the Nation is building intolerance for violent behavior from the ground up.
Restoring communal living through Pueblo-style housing, the Tsigo bugeh Village offers “traditional living with a modern touch” for Ohkay Owingeh citizens. Designed to honor a sense of community and place, Tsigo bugeh addresses Ohkay Owingeh’s urgent housing demands with 40 units for single and multigenerational families, all in a modern design that echoes millennia of traditional Pueblo living.
The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways is the caretaker of cultural heritage for the Saginaw Chippewa. The Center educates the Tribe’s citizens and the general public through its permanent and rotating exhibits, research center, repatriation efforts, art market, workshops, and language programs. By sharing its story in many ways, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan is reclaiming its past and celebrating its vibrant present as Anishinabe people.
The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is nearly silent regarding its potential application in Indian Country. But by the mid-1990s, the ESA had proven to be a source of serious concern for Indian tribes. In 1997, as the culmination of months of negotiations between agency officials and tribal representatives, the Secretaries of the Interior and of Commerce jointly issued Secretarial Order 3206 (SO 3206), entitled “American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act.” The order sought to harmonize the federal trust responsibility to tribes and the statutory missions of the Departments of the Interior and Commerce in implementing the ESA. This paper considers whether the order has lived up to its promise of true bilateralism between the United States and sovereign tribal governments regarding their rights vís-a-vís the ESA process. It reviews the key requirements of the ESA, pertinent executive orders, and SO 3206 itself. It analyzes government-to-government relations in several cases of “final rule” critical habitat designation and through a review of scholarly literature. Further, it discusses the difference tribes can make by creating and implementing their own habitat management plans, as alternatives to designation of critical habitat on Indian lands, and by actively partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Conservation Service. The author concludes that while SO 3206 has not yet lived up to its full promise, it is making a difference by assisting federal land managers and sovereign tribal governments in building stronger working relationships while protecting the environment.
Oxford University Press: Customer Service: 1.800.451.7556 or www.oup.com/us/he - The State of the Native Nations: Conditions Under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination explores the political, economic, social, and cultural realities of contemporary Indian Country. This thematically organized examination of Native American life covers topics including tribal governance, natural resources, economic and social development, arts and culture, and urban populations. The work is a result of a collaboration through the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, a group of leading researchers, scholars, and practitioners who have undertaken the most comprehensive study of the contemporary conditions of Native Americans. Balancing real-world personal accounts and ethnographic findings with informed data and statistical analysis, this volume presents a multidisciplinary overview of the challenges confronting Indian nations. To purchase this book from Oxford University Press: Customer Service: 1.800.451.7556 or www.oup.com/us/he (448 pages, $29.00, ISBN 9780195301267 , paper)
A revolution is underway among the Indigenous nations of North America. It is a quiet revolution, largely unnoticed in society at large. But it is profoundly important. From High Plains states and Prairie Provinces to southwestern deserts, from Mississippi and Oklahoma to the northwest coast of the continent, Native peoples are reclaiming their right to govern themselves and to shape their future in their own ways. Challenging more than a century of colonial controls, they are addressing severe social problems, building sustainable economies, and reinvigorating Indigenous cultures. In effect, they are rebuilding their nations according to their own diverse and often innovative designs. Produced by the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at the University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, this book traces the contours of that revolution as Native nations turn the dream of self-determination into a practical reality. Part report, part analysis, part how-to manual for Native leaders, it discusses strategies for governance and community and economic development being employed by American Indian nations and First Nations in Canada as they move to assert greater control over their own affairs. Rebuilding Native Nations provides guidelines for creating new governance structures, rewriting constitutions, building justice systems, launching nation-owned enterprises, encouraging citizen entrepreneurs, developing new relationships with non-Native governments, and confronting the crippling legacies of colonialism. For nations that wish to join that revolution or for those who simply want to understand the transformation now underway across Indigenous North America, this book is a critical resource.
Developed in 1997, the Two Plus Two Plus Two college transition program is a partnership between Hopi Junior/Senior High School, Northland Pioneer College, and Northern Arizona University. The program recruits junior and senior high school students to enroll in classes (including distance learning courses) that offer concurrent 20 college level credits. Upon graduation, students enrolled in Two Plus Two Plus Two can earn up to thirty transferable credits to any state or out-of-state accredited community college or university. The Program has led to a growing demand for math and science courses by students within the school and to increased college enrollment (forty-five percent of this year’s graduating class will attend two or four year institutions of higher education). Two Plus Two Plus Two is helping Hopi students attain advanced educational degrees and, in so doing, is empowering them with technological and academic skills that they can bring back to the rural reservation.
Since 1975, when the U.S. government adopted a policy of self-determination for American Indian nations, a large number of the 562 federally recognized nations have seized the opportunity to govern themselves and determine their own economic, political, and cultural futures. As a first and crucial step in this process, many nations are revising constitutions originally developed by the U.S. government to create governmental structures more attuned to native people'sunique cultural and political values. These new constitutions and the governing institutions they create are fostering greater governmental stability and accountability, increasing citizen support of government, and providing a firmer foundation for economic and political development. This book brings together for the first time the writings of tribal reform leaders, academics, and legal practitioners to offer a comprehensive overview of American Indian nations' constitutional reform processes and the rebuilding of native nations. The book is organized in three sections. The first part investigates the historical, cultural, economic, and political motivations behind American Indian nations' recent reform efforts. The second part examines the most significant areas of reform, including criteria for tribal membership/citizenship and the reform of governmental institutions. The book concludes with a discussion of how American Indian nations are navigating the process of reform, including overcoming the politics of reform, maximizing citizen participation, and developing short-term and long-term programs of civic education.
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development was selected by the First Nations Centre at the National Aboriginal Health Organization and the First Nations Information Governance Committee to conduct a review of the Longitudinal Regional Health Survey (LRHS). The LRHS was designed and fielded by representatives of First Nations to assess the health needs of adults and children living in First Nations communities. The survey, the first of its kind in Canada, is being conducted under the First Nations’ principles of ownership, control, access, and possession of health data. This report summarizes the results of an independent review of the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey for 2002/2003 (2002/2003 RHS), undertaken for the First Nations Information Governance Committee (FNIGC), a standing committee of the Chiefs Committee on Health (CCOH), and the First Nations Centre (FNC) at the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO). The FNC at NAHO was mandated by the Chief’s Committee on Health and the First Nations Information Governance Committee to coordinate and act as data steward for the 2002/2003 RHS.
Indigenous economic development takes multiple forms. One of the most common ways that indigenous peoples attempt to meet needs for revenue, employment, and services is through nation-owned enterprises. These are hugely diverse, ranging from timber companies and gaming operations to telecommunications enterprises and convenience stores. The record of such efforts is mixed: as with businesses everywhere, some succeed and others don't. This paper examines how the actions of Native nations themselves can either undermine or strengthen their own enterprises, drawing on extensive research carried out by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University and the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at the University of Arizona. Of course many of the things that determine business outcomes lie beyond the control of the nations that own the businesses. The paper focuses on five factors that indigenous nations can control but that sometimes are ignored in the effort to build successful, nation-owned businesses: clarity about enterprise goals; effective management of the politics-business connection; the purpose, power, and composition of enterprise boards of directors; independent and reliable resolution of disputes; and the need to educate the community about enterprise goals and activity. Using real-world cases, the paper explores how the actions by indigenous nations in each of these areas can have a significant impact on business performance.
Born out of a need to create a judicial system that Tulalip citizens can trust and that also helps offenders to recover rather than just throwing them away, the Tulalip Tribal Court Alternative Sentencing Program supports the development of a safe, healthy, and law abiding community. Focusing on the mental, physical, and spiritual health of offenders, the Program melds indigenous and therapeutic jurisprudence, going beyond just placing offenders in jail. Beginning with the Tulalip Alternative Court and now backed by the entire Tulalip justice system, the nation's strategies for implementing Tulalip law now better reflect the sentiments of one of its traditional sayings, “To pull that canoe, you have to pull together.”
Generations ago, a prophecy told the Anishinabe people to move west to where food grew on water. Migrating from the eastern shores of North America, the Anishinabe people settled throughout the Great Lakes region where wild rice fields grew out of fresh water lakes. For hundreds of years, the Bad River Band lived in present day Wisconsin, harvesting wild rice, hunting, and fishing. Sadly, pollution began to threaten this sensitive ecosystem and the Anishinabe identity. Waste was hazardous and abundant on their lands, despite cultural creation and migration stories stressing environmental stewardship. The Bad River Recycling/Solid Waste Department set about creating environmentally sound practices of managing and disposing waste generated on the reservation, ending cycles of harm caused by poor disposal practices. Now, through community-wide education, incentives, and new waste management systems, the Bad River Band citizens boast a clean, safe, and green reservation environment.
Historically, the Potawatomi enjoyed a strong economy built on trading with Native nations throughout North America and with European settlers. Unfortunately, forced removal from the Great Lakes region to what is now Kansas, and then again to Oklahoma, brought about drastic political, cultural, and economic changes. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation's government and its citizens suffered from political instability and a weakened tribal economy. To address these concerns, the Nation began laying the necessary groundwork to rebuild itself. It reformed government institutions and established a number of successful tribal enterprises, including a gaming and entertainment center, grocery stores, and a bank. But the Nation also wanted to grow the private sector within its economy and encourage citizens, who may lack the credit records necessary for bank loans, to go into business for themselves. The solution was to establish the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, a CDFI that offers, among other things, micro loans, commercial loans, an employee loan program, financial literacy education, and credit counseling to the Nation's citizens around the U.S. and to all American Indians in Oklahoma.