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Harvard Project Names 18 Semifinalists for Honoring Nations Awards

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The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development recognizes exemplary tribal government initiatives and facilitates the sharing of best practices through its Honoring Nations awards program.

On March 3, the Harvard Project announced its selection of 18 semi-finalists for the 2014 Honoring Nations awards (listed below). Programs are judged on their significance to sovereignty, their cultural relevance, their transferability and their sustainability. Honoring Nations financial awards will help them provide models of success.

Tthe Honoring Nations Board of Governors—comprised of distinguished individuals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors—will narrow down the pool in October 2014, selecting three programs as High Honors and as many as three programs as Honors. In past years, High Honors recipients received $20,000 each and honors received $10,000, to assist them in sharing their success stories to benefit tribal and non-tribal governments alike.

"At the heart of Honoring Nations are the principles that tribes themselves hold the key to generating social, political, and economic prosperity and that self-governance plays a crucial role in building and sustaining strong, healthy Indian Nations," the Harvard Project states.

At each stage of the selection process, programs are evaluated on the basis of effectiveness, significance to sovereignty, cultural relevance, transferability, and sustainability.

In addition to honorees sharing their success stories, the Harvard Project also produces reports, case studies and other curricular materials that are disseminated to tribal leaders, public servants, the media, scholars, students and others interested in promoting and fostering excellence in governance.

To date, Honoring Nations has recognized 112 exemplary tribal government programs, practices, and initiatives and held four tribal government symposia.

“Our destiny in is 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.

Honoring Nations is the flagship program of The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a member of a worldwide family of “governmental best practices” awards programs. As the program’s Director, Megan Hill (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) explains, “Honoring Nations recognizes innovative programs and initiatives operating throughout Indian country and provides a unique opportunity for our nations to learn about and replicate these outstanding tribal governance success stories in their own communities.”

Semifinalists Programs:

Chickasaw Nation School-to-Work Program from the Chickasaw Nation, Ada, Oklahoma

?—Comanche Nation Funeral Home from the Comanche Nation, Lawton, Oklahoma

?—Hualapai Juvenile Detention & Rehabilitation Center from the Hualapai Tribe, Peach Springs, Arizona

?—Lummi Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank from the Lummi Nation, Bellingham, Washington

?—Lummi Youth Academy from the Lummi Nation, Bellingham, Washington (Watch the Academy's video on

?—Oneida Life Insurance Plan Plus from the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Oneida, Wisconsin

?—Owe'neh Bupingeh Rehabilitation Project from Ohkay Owingeh, Ohkay Owingeh? Pueblo, New Mexico

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Pemaytv Emahakv K-8 Charter School from the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation, Okeechobee, Florida?

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe Child Welfare Program from the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, Kingston, Washington

?—Potawatomi Leadership Program from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee, Oklahoma

?—Prairie Management Program from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Eagle Butte, South Dakota

?—San Manuel Fire Department Outreach from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Highland, California?

Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency (SCALE) from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Prior Lake, Minnesota

?—Swinomish Climate Change Initiative from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, LaConner, Washington

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?—Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Elderly Protection from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, North Dakota?

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Tribal Ventures 10-year Poverty Reduction Plan from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Eagle Butte, South Dakota?

—Tribal-State Intergovernmental Law Enforcement Agreement from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Fort Thompson, South Dakota

?—White Mountain Apache Suicide Surveillance System from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Whiteriver, Arizona

For more information about Honoring Nations, please visit the Harvard Project’s website at or phone (617) 495-1480.

In August 2013, the Harvard Project announced three all-stars from its family of 112 outstanding programs that have been selected as Honoring Nations honorees since 1999.

They were:

—Archie Hendricks, Sr. Skilled Nursing Facility and Tohono O’odham Hospice (Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona ), which runs one of the finest elder care facilities in the U.S., combining today’s latest technologies and world-class clinical care with traditional O’odham values;
—the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Constitution Reform Project (Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma ), which resulted in a new constitution that provides the critical foundations for tribal political sovereignty, economic development, social well-being, and cultural preservation; and
—the Red Lake Walleye Recovery Program (Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota), which has led a joint effort with the state of Minnesota to pull the walleye in Red Lake back from virtual extinction to an optimal, self-sustaining population level today.