Cambridge, MA. The Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) announced today a $2000 gift received from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The funding will be used to fund student travel to American Indian/Alaskan Native communities as part of the Nation Building II course. Dr. Dennis Norman, Faculty Chair of HUNAP, remarked, “The support from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will support our goal of advancing the well- being of Native Nations through project collaboration that respects the sovereignty and self-determination of American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.”
The Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation Building II course addresses current issues facing Native Nations and Indigenous communities and allows students to work directly with a tribal client to conduct research or provide scholarly support to a project designed to build healthier communities. By all measures of community health, American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities face numerous challenges with economic development, housing, employment, educational outcomes, health disparities, and other structural inequalities. Established universities such as Harvard, are filled with intellectual and scholarly resources, but have maintained a checkered history of collaboration with Native communities. Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation Building II was specifically developed to address this mismatch of resources and establish an avenue for respectful university-tribal collaboration that recognizes the sovereignty of Native Nations and the need to support self-determination and self-governance.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a focus on being a good neighbor, good steward of the earth, and good employer, the SMSC is committed to charitable donations, community partnerships, a healthy environment, and a strong economy. The SMSC and the SMSC Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are the largest employer in Scott County. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and cause since opening the Gaming Enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.
About Harvard University Native American Program
The mission of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) is to bring together Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and interested individuals from the Harvard community for the purpose of advancing the well-being of Indigenous peoples through self-determination, academic achievement, and community service.