In February 1988, several individuals, distressed by the intensity of anti-Indian activity, convened a meeting in Wausau, Wisconsin. Forty people, Indian and non-Indian -- joined to form a coalition that would stand together to affirm treaties. To those assembled, the treaties were a matter of national "honor", thus the name.
In June 1988, HONOR adopted a set of principles as a framework for its activities. It organized itself as a coalition, with each member organization retaining its own primary purpose, but joining together in events, activities and education that fall within the HONOR Principles. HONOR sought the counsel and guidance of tribal leaders. A number of tribal governments passed resolutions in support of HONOR.
In May 1991, HONOR became a non-profit corporation governed by a nine member Board of Directors. (Indian and non-Indian). It sets policy in concert with its national all-Indian Advisory Committee.
The Regional HONOR Office for Administration and Membership Services is located in Minneapolis, MN; and HONOR's Resource and Information center are housed in Omro, WI. Full time and part-time staff members, interns and numerous volunteers perform the work of HONOR.
As HONOR grows, non-Indian members remain committed to avoiding the mistakes of well meaning people of the past who have "worked on behalf of" and "spoken for" Indian people. HONOR is here to serve. Its members STAND TOGETHER in the struggle for justice, respecting the power and integrity of Indian self-governance.