The Context and Meaning of Family Strengthening in Indian America

By The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

September 10, 2004


This report attempts to gage the meaning and effectiveness of family strengthening efforts in the myriad Native American Indian communities. The finding: if it isn’t home-grown, it isn’t going to fly in the Indian communities. Several case studies demonstrate what is working while recommendations provide nonprofits and foundations with tips on effective tribal self-determination. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Imposed programs don’t fly in Native American communities

Successful programs in Indian communities are almost always home grown — conceived of, implemented by and partly funded through tribal communities. Anything less lacks credibility and legitimacy in Native eyes due to the cultural distinctiveness of each tribal community. Tribes that are in control of design and delivery of programs and policies are setting the standards for building strong futures for Native American families and communities.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations