Culminating a six-year development process, the Native Nations Institute (NNI) announced the launch of its groundbreaking “Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development” distance-learning course series. Designed primarily for use by Native nations and tribal colleges and universities, the curriculum examines the critical governance and development challenges facing Native nations and surveys the breadth and diversity of Native nation-building efforts across Indian Country. Sharing lessons learned through 25 years of community-based research by NNI and its sister organization the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, it explores what is working, what isn’t, and why as Native nations move aggressively to reclaim control over their own affairs and create vibrant futures of their own design.

“Rebuilding Native Nations presents and celebrates the great strides Native nations are making as they work to fully exercise their sovereignty and engage in true self-governance,” says Joan Timeche, NNI executive director. “It offers Native nations a chance to learn from one another, and for society at large to learn about the many positive things taking place across Indian Country.”

Featuring eight different course options, Rebuilding Native Nations provides a dynamic individual or group learning experience, weaving together video lectures by course instructors, video assignments featuring the perspectives of more than 125 Native leaders and scholars, curricular materials from NNI’s “Native Nation Building” and “Emerging Leaders” executive education seminars, in-depth case studies, informative graphics, the landmark Rebuilding Native Nations course textbook (Univ. of Arizona Press, 2007), and original readings drawn from the NNI-Harvard Project research.

“This curriculum provides Native nation leaders, employees, citizens and others a unique opportunity to learn about Native nation building directly from those who are doing nation building,” says Ian Record, the curriculum’s director. “It puts an exclamation point on what the NNI-Harvard Project research has found – that self-determination is the only policy that has ever worked for Native nations. The many governance success stories chronicled in the curriculum attest to that fact.”

The courses use reading and video assignments to spotlight more than 40 Harvard Honoring Nations award-winning governance success stories being authored by Native nations, offering other nations the chance to learn about the innovative solutions they’ve developed to the challenges they face.

Offered online, Rebuilding Native Nations also is available on DVD for those who live in rural areas with poor internet connectivity. Volume discounts are available to Native nations, organizations, and tribal colleges and universities that wish to enroll groups of participants in the courses. To learn more about Rebuilding Native Nations, please visit or call 520-626-9839.