Harvard Project Video featuring Tohono O’odham Nation Receives Best-of-the-Internet Award

May 19, 2021
Harvard Project Video featuring Tohono O’odham Nation Receives Best-of-the-Internet Award

Cambridge, MA—The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (Harvard Project) today announced that its video “Tribal schools embrace distance learning” won the 2021 Webby Award for best “Long Form” film. The Webby Awards, presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international award program honoring excellence on the Internet.

The award-winning video features the story of how the Tohono O’odham Nation outside of Tucson, AZ was able to leverage remote learning tools developed by the Yurok Tribe of California at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exchange of ideas between these two native nations was facilitated by the Harvard Project’s COVID-19 Resources for Indian Country Toolbox, an interactive collection of examples of Indian Country’s COVID-19 response, ranging from community health initiatives to support for families and elders.

“There’s nothing at all that’s cookie cutter in Indian Country,” says Megan Minoka Hill, Program Director for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. “But what I think tribal nations can do is learn from each other’s successes.”

 
“The way GuVo District of the Tohono O’odham Nation was able to so quickly adopt best practices from the Yurok Tribe is a prime example of how successful initiatives developed by one native nation, can be adapted to suit the needs of others,” says Joe Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Emeritus; Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. “This story is truly about how native nations can learn from each other as well as an example of how Harvard can leverage its power and privilege to provide a platform for Indigenous voices to be heard. The on-site filming was actually done by the young Tohono O’odham women featured in the video.”

The Harvard Project will continue its work helping native nations respond to and recover from the pandemic. On Wednesday, May 26th at 4:00 pm EST, the Project will launch a discussion series featuring tribal leaders, academics, experts in tribal law, and others to help tribes and policymakers best leverage the resources and opportunities made available through the American Rescue Plan.

About the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development 

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is based in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. The Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained social and economic development is achieved among Indigenous nations in the U.S. and beyond.

About the Ash Center  

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens.

Contact Information 
Daniel Harsha
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

Daniel_Harsha@hks.harvard.edu

 

Sarah Grucza
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Sarah_Grucza@hks.harvard.edu