Conferences, Seminars & Symposia

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Honoring Nations: Oren Lyons: Rebuilding Healthy Nations

Onondaga Chief and Faithkeeper Oren Lyons urges Native nations to continue sharing their stories of success, learning from each other, and working towards creating a better future for the next seven generations.

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NNI Forum: Asset Building for Indian Country

The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona convened a panel of leading experts to discuss the fundamental obstacles standing in the way of asset building in Native communities, and the innovative strategies that Native…

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Honoring Nations: Michael Thomas: Sovereignty Today

Former Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Michael Thomas provides his definition of what tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and stresses the importance of Native nations examining and reconnecting with their traditional governance principles as they work to exercise sovereignty effectively.

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Honoring Nations: Theresa M. Pouley: The Tulalip Alternative Sentencing Program

Judge Theresa M. Pouley of the Tulalip Tribal Court discusses how the Tulalip Tribes reclaimed criminal jurisdiction from the State of Washington and then developed the award-winning Tulalip Alternative Sentencing Program, which she explains is a more effective and culturally appropriate approach…

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Honoring Nations: Joseph P. Kalt: Rebuilding Healthy Nations

Harvard Project Co-Director Joseph P. Kalt provides a general overview of the Honoring Nations program and illustrates how peoples all over the world are learning from the nation-building examples set and the lessons offered by Native nations in the United States.

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NNI Forum: Tribal Sovereign Immunity

Tribal sovereign immunity has far-reaching implications, impacting a wide range of critical governance issues from the protection and exertion of legal jurisdiction to the creation of a business environment that can stimulate and sustain economic development. Native Nations Institute (NNI) Radio…

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Honoring Nations: Jon Waterhouse and Rob Rosenfeld: The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council

Jon Waterhouse and Rob Rosenfeld provide an overview of the work accomplished by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, demonstrating the benefits of Native nations who have common cultures and challenges to band together to solve issues of mutual concern.

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Honoring Nations: Kristi Coker-Bias: The Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation

Former Executive Director Kristi Coker-Bias provides on overview of the Citizen Potowatomi Community Development Corporation and discusses how it is working to cultivate private sector development in her community, which she says is essential to Native nations' efforts to develop sustainable…

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Frank Pommersheim: A Key Constitutional Issue: Dispute Resolution

University of South Dakota Professor of Law Frank Pommersheim discusses the key constitutional issue of dispute resolution and presents three cases demonstrating how tribes are endowing their constitutions with legitimacy through the careful, thoughtful resolution of disputes.

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Honoring Nations: Brian Cladoosby: Sovereignty Today

Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby offers his perspective on what tribal sovereignty means today. He argues that the long-term sustainability of Native nations hinges on their right and ability to decide their own affairs and determine their own futures, and stresses the importance of educating…

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Regis Pecos: The Why of Making and Remaking Governing Systems

Former Cochiti Pueblo Governor Regis Pecos shares his thoughts about the ultimate purpose of constitutions, governments and governance from a Pueblo perspective, and argues that constitutional reform presents Native nations with a precious opportunity to reclaim and reinvigorate their cultures and…

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Honoring Nations: Allen Pemberton: The Red Lake Walleye Recovery Project

Red Lake Chippewa Natural Resources Director Allen Pemberton provides an overview of the Honoring Nations award-winning Red Lake Walleye Recovery Project, and illustrates how the program reflects the benefits of Native nations taking over control of their own affairs from the federal government.

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Todd Hembree: A Key Constitutional Issue: Separations of Powers

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree discusses the critical role of separations of powers in effective Native nation governance, and provides an overview of how the Cherokee Nation instituted an array of separations of powers in the development of their new constitution, which was ratified…

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Honoring Nations: Hilda Faye Nickey: The Mississippi Choctaw Tribal Court System

Mississippi Choctaw Chief Justice Hilda Faye Nickey discusses the Choctaw tribal court system, and provides an overview of Choctaw's youth court and how it works to educate Choctaw youth about Choctaw ethics and core values in order to set them on the right path.

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Frank Pommersheim: A Key Constitutional Issue: Dispute Resolution (Q&A)

University of South Dakota Professor of Law Frank Pommersheim fields audience questions about the importance of civic engagement to constitutional reform, removing the Secretary of Interior Approval clause from tribal constitutions, and other important topics.

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Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)

NNI "Tribal Constitutions" seminar presenters, panelists and participants Robert Breaker, Julia Coates, Frank Ettawageshik, Miriam Jorgensen, Gwen Phillips, Ian Record, Melissa L. Tatum and Joan Timeche field questions from the audience about separations of powers, citizenship, blood quantum and…

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Honoring Nations: Joseph Singer: Sovereignty Today

Harvard Professor Joseph Singer makes a compelling case that Native nations' best defense of sovereignty is their effective exercise of it, and stresses the importance of educating the general public -- particularly young people -- about what tribal sovereignty is and means.

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Honoring Nations: Floyd "Buck" Jourdain: Sovereignty Today

Red Lake Band of Chippewa Former Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain defines sovereignty as the aggressive and proactive exercise of a nation's sovereign powers, and illustrates how his nation takes this approach in advancing its own priorities and dealing with other sovereign governments.

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Julia Coates: The Process of Constitutional Reform: What the Cherokee Nation Did and Why

Cherokee Nation Councilor Julia Coates presents an overview of the constitutional history of the Cherokee Nation, and chronicles the process the Cherokee Nation followed to reform its constitution in 1999.

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Honoring Nations: Joyce Country and Dorry Larson: The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Professional Empowerment Program (2007)

Joyce Country and Dr. Dorry Larson discuss what prompted the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate to establish its award-winning Professional Empowerment Program, and the positive impacts it is having on the lives of its citizens.