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This course examines the challenges that contemporary Native American tribes and nations face as they endeavor to rebuild their communities, strengthen their cultures, and support their citizens. The range of issues that Native leaders and policymakers confront is wide and encompass political sovereignty, economic development, constitutional reform, cultural promotion, land and water rights, religious freedom, health and social welfare, and education. Because the challenges are broad and comprehensive, the course emphasizes the interdisciplnary nature of current Native nation buidling. Research finds that effective nation building must be compatible with individual societies' cultures. Yet, American Indian tribes are culturally heterogeneous. Hence, there is not "one size" that fits all. Case studies and simulations derived from field research and experience are utilized to engage students in the multidimensional settings that confront Native societies. Scholars and leaders from the Harvard University Native America Program provide selected presentations. Prominent North American Native leaders address the class, giving their perspectives on the choices and constraints they confront in their nation building efforts.
Non-HKS students (graduate and undergraduate) from all schools and departments in the university are welcome by cross-registration. Grades will be based on: issues briefs, 20%; and a take-home final exam, 80%. Jointly offered by the Graduate School of Education as A-101.