August 23, 2007

Indian culture drives success

Remember our Indian heritageOne of the central findings of the ongoing research of The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is that native culture isn't an obstacle to be overcome, but instead is a powerful driver of the relative success or failure of Indian communities. This happens wherever tribes take over their own enterprises and manage them in a manner consonant with native priorities, perspectives and goals.

HPAIED's working definition of native culture is one that is derived from what resonates within a given native community and includes languages spoken, arts used to express who a people are and what they value, religions observed, and the ways in which people choose to define and govern themselves. The arts are an important part of socioeconomic development because the arts are the means by which a community defines and expresses itself. As the saying goes, "art is a way of life,” and art often is one of the primary mechanisms a community uses to project the definition of itself into the broader world.

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