The Harvard project on American Indian economic development and the Native Nations Institute



17 July 2012

Over the last twenty-five years, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University and the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona have been engaged in a substantial program of research, outreach, and education with Indigenous nations in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, including some work in Australia. The primary focus of this work has been Indigenous strategies for self-determination, governance, and development. The orienting inquiry might be expressed as “Why are some Native nations more successful than others at achieving their own objectives?” Professor Stephen Cornell has been one of the central figures in that work, co-founding the Harvard Project in 1986 and leading the development of the Native Nations Institute in 2001. His presentation at the US Studies Centre reviewed the work of these two organisations with a focus not only on the research they have carried out but also on the institutional aspects of their outreach and educational work and on how they have partnered with Indigenous nations to address the challenges those nations face.