Native Nation Building TV Series (2006): An NNI Production
NNI produced the "Native Nation Building" television and radio series to provide critical information to the leaders of Native nations, students in tribal colleges and other educational institutions, and other interested individuals about what’s working and what’s not as Native nations engage in the difficult and daunting challenge of nation building. Native Nation Building, which is available for purchase in audio (CD) or video (DVD) format, is a series of thematic interviews (each 30 minutes long) that presents the growing number of nation-building success stories and examines the roots of that success.
Jointly produced by NNI and KUAT MultiMedia at the University of Arizona, the program was distributed to elected officials and staff of Native nations, students at tribal colleges and universities, and interested professionals working in and with Native communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. It also was broadcast in markets with significant numbers of Native viewers.
Each episode can stand alone, but taken together, the series provides a comprehensive overview of the ways Native nations are working to make sustainable, self-determined community and economic development a reality. They include:
Chronicles the ongoing research of NNI as well as the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. It articulates the five keys to successful community and economic development for Native nations -- sovereignty (genuine self-rule), effective institutions of self-governance, cultural match, strategic orientation, and leadership.
Explores the evidence that strong Native nations require strong foundations, which necessarily require the development of effective, internally created constitutions. It examines the impacts a constitution has on the people it represents, successful reform processes among Native nations, and common features of constitutional reform efforts.
Discusses the importance of having sound rules of law and justice systems and examines their implications for effective governance and sustainable economic development. It focuses on these issues and their role in the creation of a productive environment that encourages investment of all types from Native and non-Native citizens.
Explores corporate governance among Native nations, in particular the added challenge they face in turning a profit as well as governing effectively. It focuses on how tribes establish a regulatory and oversight environment that allows nation enterprises to flourish, particularly the separation of day-to-day business operations from politics.
Examines the pivotal role that citizen entrepreneurs can play in a Native nation’s overarching effort to achieve sustainable community and economic development. It looks at the many different ways that Native nation governments actively and passively hinder citizen entrepreneurship, and the innovative approaches some Native nations are taking.
Explains that good governance requires effective, transparent and accountable bureaucracies. It demonstrates how clearly defined organizational structures and roles and responsibilities help make things work and get things done, and how their absence actively hinders Native nation governance and development efforts.
Discusses the issue of Native nations’ administration of service delivery in their communities. It examines the unproductive ways services and programs have been administered in many Native communities in the past and the innovative mechanisms and approaches some Native nations are developing to maximize limited financial and human resources.
Focuses on Native nations’ efforts to enhance their relationships with other governments as a way to advance their nation-building objectives. It details how some Native nations are forging mutually beneficial intergovernmental agreements, and chronicles the many advantages to forging similar intertribal arrangements.
Ties together the themes discussed in the previous Segments into a discussion of how Native nations and their leaders move themselves and their peoples towards nation building. It seeks to answer the question all Native nations have: How do we get where we want to go?
Contrasts the two approaches to Indigenous governance -- the standard approach and the nation-building approach -- and discusses how a growing number of Native nations are moving towards nation building. It provides specific examples of how the keys to nation-building bring wide-ranging benefits to Native communities.
Joan Timeche, Stephen Cornell and Ian Record with the Native Nations Institute at The University of Arizona discuss the "Native Nation Building" television and radio series and the research findings at heart of the series in a televised interview in January 2007.