NNI and Harvard Project Research

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Oneida Advocacy Through Investment Holdings

Oneida Advocacy Through Investment Holdings

Thirty years ago, most Native nations in the U.S. had few financial resources available for investment. With the passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93-638) in 1975, many tribes began to reclaim the governance of their nations – and with such assertions…

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Project Pueblo: Economic Development Revitalization Project

Project Pueblo: Economic Development Revitalization Project

A strong economy is one of the foundations of a healthy community. Native nations use business profits and tax revenues to invest in areas such as health, education, culture, and public safety programs to meet the needs of tribal citizens. At the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, a sudden economic decline in…

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Newtok Relocation Effort

Newtok Relocation Effort

Scientists and politicians spend hours debating the facts of climate change, but in many places damaging changes to the local environment are already a reality. In the past decade, more and more human settlements have been threatened by catastrophic flooding, wildfires, or drought caused by…

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Leech Lake Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction

Leech Lake Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction

Across Indian Country tribes are strengthening and better defining their governments in order to meet the unique needs of their communities. As Native nations work to expand their sovereign powers, tribal justice departments can play a critical role in achieving those goals. In the early 2000s, the…

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Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School

Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School

Founded in 1997, the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School aims to create a dynamic learning environment in which community members not only learn and teach, but are able to actively contribute to the success of their nations. Four themes guide the Institute’s work: leadership,…

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Treaty Rights/National Forest Memorandum of Understanding, Tribes of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Treaty Rights/National Forest Memorandum of Understanding, Tribes of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, a tribally chartered intertribal organization, negotiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service that recognizes and implements treaty guaranteed hunting, fishing and gathering rights under tribal regulations and…

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Why beggar thy Indian neighbor? The case for tribal primacy in taxation in Indian country

Why beggar thy Indian neighbor? The case for tribal primacy in taxation in Indian country

The law governing taxation in Indian country is a mess. The accretion of common law precedents and the general tendency of states to assert primacy over the taxation of non-Indians create absurd outcomes. This article makes the case three ways. The argument based on the law shows that…

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Red Lake Walleye Recovery Project

Red Lake Walleye Recovery Project

Clearly demonstrating that tribal nations not only have the ability to make large scale achievements in resource conservation, but that they can do so with unprecedented success, the Red Lake Walleye Fishery Recovery Project has brought the walleye fish population back from virtual extinction to an…

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Bad River Band's National Forest Management MOU

Bad River Band's National Forest Management MOU

The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), a tribally chartered intertribal agency, negotiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US Forest Service that both recognizes and implements treaty-guaranteed hunting, fishing, and gathering rights under tribal regulations and…

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Chickaloon Village: Ya Ne Dah Ah School

Chickaloon Village: Ya Ne Dah Ah School

Dedicated to giving community youth the skills necessary for functioning in a modern world while retaining and facilitating traditional knowledge and practices, the Ya Ne Dah Ah is Alaska’s only tribally owned and operated full-time primary school and day care facility. Located in a one-room…

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Rosebud Sioux Tribal Education Department and Code

Rosebud Sioux Tribal Education Department and Code

Responding to disproportionately low academic attendance, achievement, and attainment levels, the Tribe created an education department (TED) in 1990 and developed a Code that regulates and coordinates various aspects of the tribal schools, public schools, and federally-funded Indian education…

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The Ojibwe Language Program: Teaching Mille Lacs Band Youth the Ojibwe Language to Foster a Stronger Sense of Cultural Identity and Sovereignty

The Ojibwe Language Program: Teaching Mille Lacs Band Youth the Ojibwe Language to Foster a Stronger Sense of Cultural Identity and Sovereignty

As part of its effort to assimilate American Indians into mainstream society, the federal government launched an assault on Native languages. For example, in the 1890s the government built twenty-five off-reservation boarding schools to which many Indian children were forcibly removed and where…

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Fond du Lac's Pharmacy On-Line Billing Initiative

Fond du Lac's Pharmacy On-Line Billing Initiative

In 1995, faced with rising pharmaceutical costs, limited Indian Health Service (IHS) funds, and an inability to bill and collect from third party insurers, the Human Services Division contracted with a private sector firm to design and implement a computerized pharmacy billing system. The first of…

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Coquille: Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP)

Coquille: Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP)

Driven by the belief that possessing historical documents and archival collections is essential for cultural self-determination, the Coquille Indian Tribe partnered with the University of Oregon and the Smithsonian Institution to launch the Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP) in 1995. Through…

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Winnebago Community Development Fund

Winnebago Community Development Fund

Establishing a framework for community development based on the goals of the government and its citizens, the Winnebago CDC Fund builds toward long-term development by matching funds for grants, building community projects, supplementing community infrastructure, increasing educational…

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Winnebago's Whirling Thunder Wellness Program

Winnebago's Whirling Thunder Wellness Program

To prevent and control the devastating effects of diabetes and substance abuse, in 1995, the Winnebago Tribe created the Whirling Thunder Wellness Program, which raises community awareness about diabetes and substance abuse, administers primary and secondary prevention services, and encourages…

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Yakama Nation Land Enterprise

Yakama Nation Land Enterprise

In an effort to consolidate, regulate, and control Indian land holdings, the financially self-sustaining Yakama Nation Land Enterprise has successfully acquired more than 90% of all the fee lands within the Nation’s closed area — lands which were previously highly "checker-boarded." The Enterprise’…

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The Ya Ne Dah Ah School (Chickaloon): Melding Traditional Teachings with Modern Curricula

The Ya Ne Dah Ah School (Chickaloon): Melding Traditional Teachings with Modern Curricula

For many generations, education in American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities has been controlled by sources external to the communities and the people themselves. Large bureaucratic agencies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or public school systems overseen by state governments…

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The Menominee Community Center of Chicago: Creating an Innovative Partnership Between Urban and Reservation Communities

The Menominee Community Center of Chicago: Creating an Innovative Partnership Between Urban and Reservation Communities

Over half of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin lives off-reservation. Regrettably, the ties between the Menominee’s reservation and urban populations, like those between the split populations of so many Indian nations, have been tenuous for decades. In 1994, a group of Menominee Indians…

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The Two-Plus-Two-Plus-Two Program: Building an Educational Bridge to the Future for the Youth of the Hopi Tribe from High School to College and Beyond

The Two-Plus-Two-Plus-Two Program: Building an Educational Bridge to the Future for the Youth of the Hopi Tribe from High School to College and Beyond

Over the last 30 years, Native nations across North America have been taking control of their educational systems in the belief that American Indian “self-determination and local control [are] means of cultural preservation and growth.” Disturbed by the low achievement scores and high dropout rates…