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Harvard Project Names Three Honoring Nations Leaders

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Sharing outstanding programs in tribal self-governance and helping to expand the capacities of Tribal leaders through learning from each others’ successes is the mission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development’s Honoring Nations program.

Recently the Honoring Nations program announced the selection of three Nation-building leaders for its 2014 Honoring Nations Leadership Program, supported by the Bush Foundation. The program is designed to foster nation-building capacity in the Bush Region—Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota—and will provide the opportunity for the three participants to contribute to the 2014 Honoring Nations awards cycle, which will include participation on a site visit and reporting to the Honoring Nations Board of Governors. Nation-building leaders will also have the opportunity to participate in a tribal governance session facilitated by the Native Nations Institute.

RELATED: Harvard Project Names 18 Semifinalists for Honoring Nations Awards

Out of a remarkable pool of applicants, three exceptional people committed to strengthening their communities were selected to participate in the year-long leadership program:

Karen Cary, director of Career & Technical Education, Leech Lake Tribal College

The Career & Technical Department of Leech Lake Tribal College teaches students the skills and knowledge for employment as a police officer, carpenter, business manager or electrician. In addition, the department offers custom training and continuing education opportunities for brushing up on or advancing skills in many fields of study. As director, Karen Cary's responsibility to assure that class-room and hands-on teaching match job skills identified by employers. To that end, Leech Lake Tribal College teachers are industry experts with many years of experience, and through self-employment as well as continuing education, they keep current on their skills.

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Amber Annis, Cheyenne River Sioux, PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Minnesota

Amber Annis is currently a doctoral student in the American Studies department at the University of Minnesota. She received her BA in History and American Indian Studies at the University of North Dakota where she also received an MA in History. She is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Oyate, and her research interests include American Indian education and history in the 20th century and American Indian cultural and public diplomacy during the Cold War era.

Justin Beaulieu, Red Lake Nation, Constitution Reform Initiative coordinator, Red Lake Nation

The Red Lake Nation's Constitutional Reform Initiative committee is a 13-member group of Red Lake Band Members who represent a cross-section of the Band membership. Each area of representation on the Committee has been carefully selected by the Tribal Council to ensure the revised Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' Constitution is crafted to mirror the importance of the Ojibwe language, culture, and way of life embraced by the Red Lake Band membership, while also realistically addressing the current and evolving needs of the Tribe.

“To continue our nation’s strength into the next century, we need to be intrepid, but still good listeners. We need young leaders who know that it is not about who I am or what I have. Leadership is about our future, and the children coming, and the responsibilities of all leaders to their nations,” 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. Honoring Nations identifies, celebrates and shares excellence in American Indian tribal governance. 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 Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.