Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, is also a member of the board of governors for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Specifically, Mark Macarro serves as part of Harvard Project’s Honoring Nations program.
The Honoring Nations program, established in 1998, identifies, documents, and celebrates the stories of self-governance occurring within Native nations, focusing on the successes of tribal governments. This program helps various Native leaders learn from each other, but also highlights the drive for self-determination among Native nations to mainstream America, non-Native legislators, media organizations, and the general public.
The foundational principle behind the Honoring Nations program is the idea that Native nations’ independence in government is important for their social, political, economic, and cultural success. Honoring Nations has hosted five tribal government symposia and honored 124 tribal government programs, practices, and initiatives. The evaluation process to choose honorees is guided by the board of governors consisting of individuals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.