It's not just identity, language, and song. It's about fundamental well-being and community, which includes economics.


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Why Indian Nations Fail by James Robinson

  • Stauffer Auditorium Hoover Institution Stanford, CA, 94305 United States (map)

This year Senior Fellow Terry Anderson launched a Hoover project on “Renewing Indigenous Economies.” The project will undertake research showing how the ideas defining a free society are key to helping indigenous peoples, especially Native Americans, lift themselves out of poverty and free them from the wardship of the federal government. The program will host workshops where indigenous leaders can discuss how the research results can help them on a path to self-determination. (For a discussion of these ideas, see his article with Wendy Purnell in Defining Ideas.)

For the launch of the first tribal leaders forum, Professor James Robinson from the University of Chicago will present the keynote address on September 24, 2018. Drawing on his award winning, co-authored book, Why Nations Fail, Robinson will explain how different indigenous societies adapted their institutions over centuries, allowing them to survive and in many cases thrive. Robinson will discuss how governance structures thrust upon them by modern nation states have stifled this evolutionary process and led to economic stagnation for many indigenous economies. By understanding why indigenous nations have failed, indigenous societies can renew their cultures and their economies.

Robinson's lecture will be followed by comments from Te Maire Tau and Manny Jules.

Stauffer Auditorium
Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Monday, September 24th at 4:30 PM
Reception to follow.

Register for the event here.

For more information, please email

Earlier Event: September 23
Tribal Leaders Forum
Later Event: October 1
Indigenous Economies Policy Symposium