Kennedy School Honors American Indian Tribal Governments

Contact: Andrew Lee
Phone: 617-496-6632
Date: June 19, 2002

BISMARCK, N.D. – Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government has awarded eight American Indian tribal government programs $10,000 each in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The ceremony, which took place at the Radisson Hotel-Bismarck, was attended by hundreds of American Indians from across the country who gathered for a session of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
The awards were given as part of Harvard’s Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations (Honoring Nations) program, which identifies, celebrates and shares exemplary tribal government programs among the more than 550 Indian nations in the United States. "Across Indian Country, tribes are governing themselves to a brighter future" said Andrew Lee (Seneca), the program’s executive director. "It makes sense to shine a spotlight on tribal government best practices so that others can learn from and replicate what’s working across a spectrum of public policy concerns."
This is Honoring Nations’ third year of awards. Since the program’s inception, over 100 tribes have applied for an award and 32 tribal government initiatives have been honored.
The eight "high honors" recipients for 2002 are:
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce and Warm Springs Tribes (Portland, Ore.)
Gila River Youth Council, Gila River Indian Community (Sacaton, Ariz.)
Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy (Nedrow, N.Y.)
Umatilla Basin Salmon Recovery Project, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Pendleton, Ore.)
Whirling Thunder Wellness Program, Winnebago Tribal Health Department, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska (Winnebago, Neb.)
Ya Ne Dah Ah (Ancient Teachings) School, Education Department, Chickaloon Village Tribal Council (Chickaloon, Alaska)
Yakama Nation Land Enterprise, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Toppenish, Wash.)
Zuni Eagle Sanctuary, Zuni Fish and Wildlife Department, Pueblo of Zuni (Zuni, N.M.)
The eight "high honors" were chosen from 16 finalists that were initially selected from a pool of 80 applications representing more than 60 tribes and multi-tribe collaborations. At each stage of the selection process, which is led by a national advisory board chaired by Chief Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Nation, applications are judged on the criteria of effectiveness, significance, transferability, creativity and sustainability.
In addition to the awards, the Harvard Project will prepare reports, case studies and instructional materials based on the honorees’ successes.
Based at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Honoring Nations is administered by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, established in 1986. The Harvard Project’s goal is to understand the conditions under which self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations. Core funding is provided by the Ford Foundation, which also sponsors similar governmental best practices programs in Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa and the United States.
For more information about Honoring Nations, visit the Harvard Project web site at http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/hpaied/ or call 617-496-9446.

HONORING NATIONS, 2002 HONOREES
(* denotes high honorees)
Bringing Financial and Business Expertise to Tribes, Borrego Springs Bank, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians (Mesa, Calif.)
Cherokee Nation History Course, Human Resources Department, Cherokee Nation (Tahlequah, Okla.)
*Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce and Warm Springs Tribes (Portland, Ore.)
Coyote Valley Tribal EPA, Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians (Redwood, Calif.)
*Gila River Youth Council, Gila River Indian Community (Sacaton, Ariz.)
Government Reform, Dine’ Appropriate Government and Local Governance Projects, Office of Navajo Government Development, Navajo Nation (Window Rock, Ariz.)
The Healing Lodge, Colville, Spokane, Kalispel, Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce and Umatilla Tribes (Spokane, Wash.)
*Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy (Nedrow, N.Y.)
"Nation Building" among the Chilkoot Tlingit, Chilkoot Indian Association (Haines, Alaska)
Safe Clean Waters, Lummi Tribal Sewer and Water District, Lummi Indian Nation (Bellingham, Wash.)
Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP), Coquille Indian Tribe (North Bend, Ore.)
*Umatilla Basin Salmon Recovery Project, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Pendleton, Ore.)
*Whirling Thunder Wellness Program, Winnebago Tribal Health Department, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska (Winnebago, Neb.)
*Ya Ne Dah Ah (Ancient Teachings) School, Education Department, Chickaloon Village Tribal Council (Chickaloon, Alaska)
*Yakama Nation Land Enterprise, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Toppenish, Wash.)
*Zuni Eagle Sanctuary, Zuni Fish and Wildlife Department, Pueblo of Zuni (Zuni, N.M.)

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