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The State of the Native Nations

Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Publication Date - June 2007

ISBN: 9780195301267

448 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

In this volume, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development brings together scholars and Native leaders to produce the most comprehensive and cohesive interdisciplinary study available on current conditions and trends in Indian Country.


Media filters and personal preconceptions can make it hard to get a clear view of present-day Indian America. The reality is that the 500+ Native nations in the United States confront many of the same day-to-day challenges that are faced by other nations and communities--raising children with strong identities, practicing religion, providing economic sustenance, strengthening culture, managing business and governmental affairs, and protecting public health and safety--but they are doing so from foundations built on their distinct histories, cultures, and circumstances. The State of the Native Nations: Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination chronicles the efforts, obstacles, and accomplishments that are shaping Indian Country under contemporary federal policies and responsive tribal strategies of self-determination.
In The State of the Native Nations, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development brings together scholars and Native leaders to produce the most comprehensive, cohesive interdisciplinary study available on current conditions and trends in Indian Country. Broad in scope and thematically organized, the volume features twenty-three chapters covering issues ranging from tribal governance, land and natural resources, and economic and social development, to arts and culture, the large off-reservation Native population, and federal Indian policy. Fourteen accompanying essays bring to life the personal perspectives of noted national leaders in Native affairs. The result is invaluable insight into the universal challenges of creating resilient, sustained, and self-determined communities.


* Balances first-person accounts and field findings with extensive and up-to-date data and facts
* Emphasizes the critical issues of Native self-determination and nation-building
* Puts contemporary issues in their historical and policy contexts
* Integrates case studies that highlight successful examples of the practice of Native nation self-determination


"This uniquely collaborative book comprehensively tells the compelling story of indigenous nations in a way unlike any other. Bursting with empirical data not readily available, and brimming with practical and scholarly insights, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the current situation of America's senior nations-its First Nations."--David Wilkins, University of Minnesota

"The State of the Native Nations fills a void that currently exists for easily accessible, self-contained reflective research related to building Native nations. It will certainly be a sought after course reader within Native programs throughout the US and Canada."--Gregory Cajete, University of New Mexico

Table of Contents

    The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
    The Sounding Board
    Preface and Acknowledgments
    A Note on Methodology and Terminology
    The Long Road to Self-Determination
    Contemporary Realities
    1. Tribal Government
    The Evolution of Governmental Forms
    Federal Policy and Self-Governance
    The Importance of Capable Institutions of Governance
    Elders Cultural Advisory Council, San Carlos Apache
    Tribal Governments and Nation Building
    Civil Society and Community Organizations
    Tribe-to-Tribe Relations
    We Are a Sovereign Government, Hon. W. Ron Allen
    2. Tribal Jurisdiction
    Underlying Principles of Tribal Jurisdiction
    Adjudicatory Authority
    Regulatory Authority
    Choctaw Tribal Court System, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
    Challenges to Tribal Jurisdiction
    Taxing Authority
    Nation Building and Tribal Courts
    The Life Way and the Law Way, Hon. Robert Yazzie
    3. Tribal-Federal Relations
    The Federal Government's Trust Responsibility
    Federal Paternalism
    The Evolution of Federal-Tribal Relations
    Zuni Eagle Sanctuary, Zuni Fish and Wildlife Department, Pueblo of Zuni
    Underfunding by Federal Agencies
    Federal Recognition
    Tribes and Federal Politics
    The Future of Federal-Tribal Relations
    Promoting Self-Determination, Benjamin Nuvamsa
    4. Tribal-State Relations
    Tribal versus State Authority
    Increased Interaction between States and Tribes
    New Models of Cooperation
    The Benefits of Cooperation
    Honoring Our Ancestors: The Chippewa Flowage Joint Agency Management Plan, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    Educate. Educate. Educate. Hon. Marge Anderson
    5. International Relations
    Historical International Relations
    The United Nations and Indigenous Peoples
    Other International Institutions
    The Road Ahead
    Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse
    6. Native Lands
    A History of Dispossession
    Indian Lands Today
    Land Challenges
    Reacquiring and Reinstating Indian Lands
    Land Use Planning
    Swinomish Cooperative Land Use Program
    The Future of Indian Lands
    7. Economic Development
    Past Efforts and Policies
    A Tribal Economic Development Snapshot
    The Underpinnings of Contemporary Tribal Economic Development
    Ho-Chunk, Inc., Winnebego Tribe of Nebraska
    Strategies for Economic Development
    Ongoing Challenges in Economic Development
    Land and Jurisdiction
    The Future of Economic Development in Native America
    Sovereignty Is an Asset,, Sherry Salway Black
    8. Gaming
    The Development of Contemporary Indian Gaming
    A Policy Primer on American Indian Gaming
    The Growth of Indian Gaming
    Socioeconomic Investment and Change
    Quil Ceda Village, The Tulalip Tribes
    Gaming Controversies
    The Future of Indian Gaming
    9. Natural Resources
    Historical Context
    Natural Resources in Indian Country
    Tribal Management of Natural Resources
    Oneida Nation Farms and Agriculture Center, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
    The Outlook for Natural Resources on Indian Lands
    Meeting the Natural Resource Challenges in Indian Country, Arthur "Butch" Blazer
    10. Environment
    Historical Context
    The Environmental State of Indian Country
    Challenges of Tribal Environmental Protection
    Tribal-Federal Cooperation in Addressing Current Problems
    Water Quality Standards, Environmental Department, Pueblo of Sandia
    Tribal Environmental Capacity
    The Future of Tribal Environmental Management
    Preservation of Life: Guiding Principles of Indian Tribal Governments, Susan M. Williams and Sarah Works
    11. Education
    From Degradation to Empowerment
    The State of Educational Attainment
    Primary and Secondary Education
    Tribally Operated Schools
    No Child Left Behind
    Post-Secondary Education
    The Two-Plus-Two-Plus-Two Program, Hopi Junior/Senior High School, Hopi Nation
    The Tribal Colleges and Universities
    The Future of Indian Education
    Educating a Closed Population Pool, James Shanley
    12. Health
    Health Status
    Critical Underfunding of the Indian Health-Care System
    Self-Determination and Health Care
    Toward Progress in Indian Health
    Whirling Thunder Wellness Program, Winnebago Tribal Health Department, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
    Health Care: A Trust Responsibility, A Sovereign Right, Yvette Roubideaux
    13. Family Support
    History of the Destruction of Native Families
    The Growth of Modern Welfare Programs
    Family Poverty in Indian Country Today
    Impact of Federal Welfare Reform
    Implementing TANF in Indian Country
    At-Risk Children
    Building a Future for Families
    Fond du Lac Foster Care Licensing and Placement Agency, Fond du Lac Lake Superior Band of Chippewa
    14. Housing
    Early Indian Housing Policy
    The State of Indian Housing
    Challenges in Federal Indian Housing Policy
    Self-Determination in Housing
    Challenges Ahead
    Chuka Chukmasi Home Loan Program, Division of Housing, Chickasaw Nation
    15. Public Safety
    Public Safety Issues in Indian Country
    Policy Responses
    Toward Improved Public Safety in Indian Country
    Kake Circle Peacemaking, Organized Village of Kake
    16. Culture
    Diverse American Indian Cultures
    Policies and Processes of Cultural Suppression
    The Status of Indian Languages
    Native Cosmologies and Religions
    Ojibwe Language Program, Department of Education, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
    Cultural Artifacts, Repatriation, and Museums
    Indigenous Knowledge
    Culture's Role in Shaping the Future of Native America
    A Valued Past and a Vibrant Present, Hartman Lomawaima
    17. Arts
    The Arts in Native America
    Cherokee National Youth Choir, Cherokee Nation
    The Marketing of Indian Arts and Crafts
    Defining and Redefining Contemporary Indian Arts
    American Indian Art: A Way of Life, Kevin Red Star
    18. Media
    The Development of Media Perspectives
    Media in Native America
    The Question of the Ownership of Indian Media
    New Approaches to Media Issues
    The Growing Role of the Internet
    Looking to the Future
    19. Alaska Natives
    Alaska Natives and the Settlement of Land Claims
    Alaska Native Socioeconomic Status
    Challenges for Alaska Natives
    Yukaana Development Corporation, Louden Tribal Council
    Prospects for the Future
    Sovereignty in Alaska, Willie Kasayulie
    20. Native Hawaiians
    Historical Context
    Who Are Native Hawaiians?
    Current Conditions
    Native Hawaiian Policy and Governance
    21. Urban Indians
    The Socioeconomic Status of Urban Native Americans
    Policy Considerations
    Urban Indian Community Centers
    Self-Determination for Urban Indians
    Future Prospects
    Menominee Community Center of Chicago, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
    A Different Kind of Immigrant, Sydney Beane
    Defending Tribal Sovereignty, Jacqueline Johnson