Tribal Constitutions Seminars

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Gwen Phillips: Defining and Cultivating Strong, Healthy Ktunaxa Citizens

Gwen Phillips, Director of Corporate Services and Governance Transition with the Ktunaxa Nation, discusses how Ktunaxa people gained a sense of Ktunaxa identity and belonging traditionally, and the different criteria that Ktunaxa is considering including among its citizenship criteria today.

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Gwen Phillips: The Relationship Between Constitution, Culture, and Citizenship

Gwen Phillips, Director of Corporate Services and Governance Transition with the Ktunaxa Nation, discusses some of the issues that the Ktunaxa Nation is deliberating as it engages the question of how to redefine its criteria for citizenship.

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Jill Doerfler and Carole Goldberg: Key Things a Constitution Should Address: Who Are We and How Do We Know? (Q&A)

Presenters Jill Doerfler and Carole Goldberg field questions from seminar participants about the various criteria that Native Nations are using to define citizenship, and some of the implications that specific criteria present.

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Ian Record: Setting the Focus and Providing the Context: Critical Constitutional Reform Tasks (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "The Process of Constitutional Reform: The Challenge of Citizen Engagement," NNI's Ian Record lays out two critical overarching tasks that those charged with leading a nation's constitutional reform effort must undertake.

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Carole Goldberg: Designing Tribal Citizenship

Scholar Carole Goldberg shares what she's learned about citizenship criteria from her extensive work with Native nations across the country, and sets forth the internal and external considerations that Native nations need to wrestle with in determining what their citizenship criteria should be.

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Robert Hershey: The Legal Process of Constitutional Reform

Robert Hershey, Professor of Law and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, provides an overview of what Native nations need to consider when it comes to the legal process involved with reforming their constitutions, and dispels some of the misconceptions that people have about the…

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Joan Timeche: The Two Tests a Constitution Must Pass (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "The Diversity of Governing Systems and Constitutions in Indian Country," NNI's Joan Timeche explains the two tests (cultural legitimacy and effectiveness) that Native nation constitutions must pass if they are going to prove capable of achieving their…

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Constitutions and Constitutional Reform - Day 2 (Q&A)

Presenters from the second day of NNI's "Tribal Constitutions" seminar gather to field questions from seminar participants on a variety of topics ranging from citizen education and engagement to the role off-reservation citizens can and should play in a Native nation's present and future.

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Angela Wesley: A "Made in Huu-ay-aht" Constitution

Angela Wesley, Chair of the Huu-ay-aht Constitution Committee, discusses the process that the Huu-ay-Aht First Nations followed in developing their own constitution and system of government. She describes how Huu-ay-aht's new governance system is fundamentally different from their old Indian Act…

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Anthony Hill: Constitutional Reform on the Gila River Indian Community

Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) Chief Judge Anthony Hill, who served as Chair of the Gila River Constitutional Reform Team, discusses the reform process that GRIC followed, the current state of GRIC's reform effort, and what he sees as lessons learned from Gila River's experience.

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Melissa Tatum: Striking a Balance on What to Include in Your Constitution (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: 'How Do We Resolve Disputes?'," legal scholar Melissa Tatum discusses the importance of a Native nation striking a balance between what to include in its constitution and what not to include in its constitution so…

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Jill Doerfler: "No Easy Answer": Citizenship Requirements

Anishinaabe scholar Jill Doerfler discusses the process that the White Earth Nation followed to arrive at their new constitution, and details the evolving debate at White Earth about which citizenship criteria it would incorporate into this new governing document.

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Miriam Jorgensen: Constitutions: Creating Space for Court-Made Law and Judicial Review (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: 'How Do We Make Law?'," NNI's Miriam Jorgensen explains how a growing number of Native nations are creating space for court-made law and judicial review of legislative and executive actions in their redesigned…

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Anthony Hill and Angela Wesley: The Process of Constitutional Reform: The Challenge of Citizen Engagement (Q&A)

Presenters Anthony Hill and Angela Wesley field questions from the audience about the approaches their nations took to constitutional reform.

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Stephen Cornell: The Task of Reclaiming Self-Governance (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: 'Who Has Responsibility for What?'," NNI's Stephen Cornell provides an overview of the fundamental questions that Native nations must ask themselves as they reclaim control over and then redesign their governance…

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Ruben Santiesteban and Joni Theobald: Choosing Our Leaders and Maintain Quality Leadership: The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Ruben Santiesteban and Joni Theobald of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians provide an overview of how Lac du Flambeau developed a new approach to cultivating and then selecting quality leaders to lead the Band to a brighter future.

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Constitutions and Constitutional Reform - Day 1 (Q&A)

Presenters and moderators from the first day of NNI's "Tribal Constitutions" seminar gather to field questions from seminar participants on a variety of topics ranging from dual citizenship to the relationship between a nation's constitution and its economic development environment.

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From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "The First Key to Effective Constitutions: Legitimacy"

Frank Ettawageshik, Joan Timeche and Frank Pommersheim discuss the importance of constitutional legitimacy to effective Native nation governance, and stress that the source of that legitimacy is the very people a constitution is designed to serve. 

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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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Joan Timeche and Joseph P. Kalt: The Process of Constitutional Reform: Key Issues and Cases to Consider

Joan Timeche and Joseph P. Kalt and Miriam Jorgensen share two stories of constitutional reform processes undertaken by Native nations and discuss what factors spurred or impeded the ultimate success of those efforts.