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Albuquerque, NM – Ten tribal governments were honored last night (Nov. 16) by Harvard’s Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations (Honoring Nations) awards program. Five programs each received a $20,000 award and five others each received a $10,000 award in recognition of their good governance achievements. Hundreds of guests attended the event held in conjunction with the 68th Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians in Albuquerque, NM.
“Our destiny is in our hands. Being capable of directing our own future and defending the futures of our children and the futures of our nations is profoundly important. Honoring Nations understands this – and is a very, very positive program in Indian Country,” said Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Indian Nation and chairman of the Honoring Nations Board of Governors. The Honoring Nations program identifies, celebrates, and shares exemplary tribal governance programs among the 560+ Indian nations in the United States.
This is Honoring Nations’ 12th year of awards. Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than one-quarter of the tribes in the U.S. have applied for an award and 112 initiatives have been honored. “Tribes are solving complex governmental issues in meaningful way. Their work is inspiring, and each hold examples for other governments to learn from,” noted Megan Minoka Hill, director of the program.
The five “High Honors” and five “Honors” recipients were selected from a pool of 90 applications representing more than 68 tribes. At each stage of the selection process applications are judged on the criteria of effectiveness, significance to sovereignty, cultural relevance, transferability, and sustainability. In addition to the awards, the Harvard Project prepares reports, case studies, and instructional materials based on the honorees’ successes.
Based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Honoring Nations is administered by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. The Harvard Project’s goal is to understand the conditions under which self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations.