Harvard Extends Reach into Indian Country

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: 617-495-1115
Date: April 03, 2001

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- When the Crow Tribe of southeastern Montana was seeking ways to strengthen its tribal courts, two students from the John F. Kennedy School of Government developed a strategy for judicial reform.

It is that kind of dedication and commitment that has long characterized Harvard’s relationship with the more than 550 American Indian nations in the United States, dating back to the University’s founding charter of 1650 pledging Harvard to "the education of English and Indian youth."

Today, the University is taking its commitment to a higher level, with the announcement of a plan designating the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) as one of the University’s ten Interfaculty Initiatives.

"It is both exciting and encouraging that the University recognizes the key role that HUNAP plays in the Harvard community and in Indian Country. We look forward to building upon HUNAP's success in preparing the next generation of Native American leaders, engaging in cutting edge scholarship, and assisting tribes as they build healthy, prosperous nations," said Joseph P. Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the Kennedy School and faculty chair of HUNAP.

Founded in 1970, HUNAP works to advance the well being of indigenous peoples through self-determination, academic achievement, and community service. With its new designation as an Interfaculty Initiative, HUNAP will utilize faculty and resources from throughout the University to further its aims, while expanding its core activities, including teaching, research, outreach, executive education, and student recruiting.

Today’s announcement is being made on the final day of a three-day international symposium, hosted by the Kennedy School of Government, entitled "Tribes Moving Forward: Engaging in the Process of Constitutional and Governmental Reform." The symposium has attracted representatives from four participating Indian nations, academics, policymakers, and international leaders from Cameroon, India, South Africa, and Uganda.

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