Group Starts Work on New Meriam Report

May 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 11-4: All Our Children Are Special, Tribal College News

A working group is being formed to prepare a major new policy study of American Indian reservations and Alaska Native communities. It will examine current conditions on reservations and issue recommendations intended to guide federal policy and private sector support in the new century, according to Paul Boyer, the principle architect of the report. He is calling the study the New Meriam Report The original Meriam Report was released in 1928 by the predecessor of the Brookings Institution. Officially called The Problem of Indian Administration, it influenced federal Indian policy for decades.

Unlike all previous reports on Indian policy, this study will be guided by an American Indian organization, according to Boyer. For the first time, the nation’s indigenous people are taking a leadership role in defining a comprehensive policy agenda. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium board of directors endorsed the project in 1998, and in 1999, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a $50,000 planning grant.

The advisory board includes six tribal colleges to date: Lionel Bordeaux of Sinte Gleska Univesity, Verna Fowler of the College of the Menominee Nation, David Gipp of United Tribes Technical College, Joe McDonald of Salish Kootenai College, Carty Monette of Turtle Mountain Community College, and Janine Pease-Pretty on Top of Little Big Horn College.

The report has four objectives. It must be 1) comprehensive, addressing education, health, housing, economic development, and culture; 2) inclusive of elders, activists, tribal leaders, researchers, and government leaders; 3) authoritative, using facts and credible figures to support its recommendations; and Indian-led. The working group is now being formed. For more information, contact Boyer at 814/861-4513 or email <> Paul Boyer wrote two reports on tribal colleges for the Carnegie Foundation, and he is the founding editor of the Tribal College Journal.

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