Part of the Hoover Project on Renewing Indigenous Economies, the Indigenous Student Seminar is an intensive, four-day residential immersion program exploring federal policy, tribal governance, and indigenous entrepreneurship. The goal is to help Indigenous college students and recent graduates think critically about the interface between federal Indian policy and self-determination.

During the week, students will learn about the evolution of property rights and trade networks before European contact; the philosophical underpinnings of indigenous notions of individualism and governance; the effects of persistent colonial policies on indigenous people and communities; and the innovations in Indian Country that are restoring self-determination and spurring economic growth.

Session topics are selected because of their immediate relevance to the challenges and opportunities facing Indian Country. Particular attention will be paid to the building blocks of meaningful sovereignty: secure land title for indigenous people; clear jurisdiction recognizing tribal authority; customs and culture informing tribal governance; and fiscal power to set local priorities and meet community needs.

Participants will collaborate through class discussions and study groups that encourage diverse perspectives. Enrollment is limited, in order to facilitate maximum interaction with the faculty and other participants.


Hoover’s Indigenous Student Seminar requires a 100% time commitment for the duration of the four-day program, including active collaboration with study groups outside of class.


Stanford University does not offer participants academic credit or grades for completing the Indigenous Student Seminar.


The Indigenous Student Seminar is FREE to all accepted applicants. Program fees, food and lodging will be covered for participants accepted into the program. Travel expenses and other incidentals are not included.


April 18, 2022 | Applications & Letters of Recommendation Due


Successful participants receive a certificate of completion endorsed by Hoover Institution's director and the Indigenous Student Seminar faculty directors. To successfully complete the program, participants must:

  • Attend all sessions;
  • Complete assignments and projects; and
  • Collaborate with their fellow participants in class discussions.

For any questions related to the program, please email

Indigenous Student Seminar Hoover Institution

Renewing Indigenous Economies

The Hoover Project on Renewing Indigenous Economies is dedicated to understanding how the rich history of governance, entrepreneurship, and trade allowed indigenous peoples to thrive before colonization and how restoring these traditions can help rebuild indigenous economies, cultures, and communities from the ground up.



The Hoover Institution launched its Indigenous Student Seminar in 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was held in two parts.

Part I: Virtual Gathering 
“Simply getting access to share the same space as scholars who have a  variety of knowledge bases and experiences—and [who] also share a common commitment and investment to the next generation of Native  leaders—is exactly what I needed during these very difficult times,” one of the participating students said.  

Read more about the virtual gathering.

Part II: On Campus
“Not only were the students from across the country and two continents and not only were they well informed and eager to learn more about renewing their economies, they were also talented enough to provide an indigenous song-prayer to start the conference and impromptu viola concerts each night! With their leadership, tribal economies will once again thrive.”

Read more about the on-campus gathering.


Candidates should submit an essay explaining how this program fits into their professional or educational goals (500 words maximum), a CV, a completed application form, and two letters of reference.

Apply at by April 18.

Please provide this link to your recommenders:

The seminar content is geared toward advanced undergrads, recent grads, and early grad students and law students.


The application deadline is April 18, 2022 for all applicants.

The submission deadline for letters of reference is April 18, 2022. 

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by May 8, 2022.

Apply by April 18, 2022:



Contact Us

For any queries.

Indigenous Student Seminar Hoover Institution
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