We believe the success of Native American change efforts hinge on four interrelated requirements. As explained in Sovereignty and Nation-Building: The Development Challenge in Indian Country Today, by Cornell and Kalt of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

The Assertion of Tribal Sovereignty

Effective Institutions Which Build Confidence By Being Stable And Competent

Strategic Direction To Focus Government Programs And Initiatives

Decisions And Actions To Carry Out Strategies For Change Or Development That Are Based On Indian Lifeways

This study asserted that the standard system of governance, for the most part, has led to economic failure and that Tribal nations needed to be grounded by a different set of development principles. This view focuses on the inside, the community members themselves, and then builds new levels of competence to create sustainable economies.

The theory is that the people in a community will make better and consistent decisions if the principles for making those decisions are clear. An organization’s guiding principles must be thoughtfully determined since poor principles will lead to poor decisions and sub-optimal performance.