constitutional development

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Carwyn Jones: Maori paths for constitutional reform

Professor Carwyn Jones of Ngāti Kahungunu descent is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington and Co-Editor of the Māori Law Review offers his testimonials on the political landscape for constitutional reform for Māori and other indigenous people. 

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Kristopher Hohag: The Challenge of Governance

Kristopher Hohag, former Vice Chairman of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, recalls his experiences as a young leader participating within tribal government. He provides a brief history of the Bishop Paiute Tribe and recounts the tribe's endeavors to provide a better way of life for the people. Hohag offers…

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Ian Record: Constitutional Reform: Some Perspectives on Process

Dr. Ian Record, NNI Manager of Educational Resources, provides a broad overview of the inherent difficulties involved with constitutional reform, the different processes that Native nations are developing to engage in constitutional reform, and some of the effective reform strategies that NNI is…

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Joan Timeche: The Hopi Tribe: Wrestling with the IRA System of Governance (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Defining Constitutions and the Movement to Remake Them," Joan Timeche (Hopi) discusses how the Hopi Tribe continues to wrestle with an Indian Reorganization Act constitution and system of governance that runs counter to its traditional, village-based system…

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Stephen Cornell: Defining Constitutions (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Defining Constitutions and the Movement to Remake Them," Stephen Cornell provides some basic definitions of what a constitution is and the role it fundamentally plays -- or should play in the life of Native nations.

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Sarah Deer: The Muscogee (Creek) Nation's Approach to Citizenship

Sarah Deer (Muscogee), Co-Director of the Indian Law Program at the William Mitchell College of Law, provides a brief overview of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's unique approach to defining its citizenship criteria, which essentially creates two classes of citizens: those who run for elected office,…

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David Wilkins: Indigenous Governance Systems: Diversity, Colonization, Adaptation, and Resurgence

In this in-depth interview with NNI's Ian Record, federal Indian law and policy scholar David Wilkins discusses the incredible diversity and sophistication of traditional Indigenous governance systems, the profound impacts colonial policies had on those systems, and how Native nations are working…

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Jim Gray: The Role of Citizen Engagement in Nation Building: The Osage Story

Jim Gray, former Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, provides an overview of how the Osage Nation completely overhauled its constitution and system of governance, sharing the strategies that Osage used to educate and engage its citizens in order to ensure that their new government reflected the…

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James R. Gray: Rebuilding Osage Governance from the Ground Up

In this informative intervew with NNI's Ian Record, James R. Gray, former Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, details his nation's effort to design a new constitution and government from the ground up, and provides an overview of the thorough education and consultation process the nation developed…

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John Petoskey: The Central Role of Justice Systems in Native Nation Building

John Petoskey, citizen and longtime general counsel of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB), discusses the key role that justice systems play in Native nation building, and provides an overview of how GTB's distinct history led it to develop a new constitution and system of…

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Angela Wesley: Huu-ay-aht First Nations' Forging of a New Governance System

Angela Wesley, Chair of Huu-ay-aht Constitution Committee, discusses the painstaking effort the Huu-ay-aht First Nations undertook to develop a new constitution and system of governance, and how they continue to work to turn the promise of self-governance embodied in their new constitution into…

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NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow: John Petoskey (Part 1)

In the first of two interviews conducted in conjunction with his tenure as NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow, John Petoskey, citizen and long-time General Counsel of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB), discusses how GTB has worked and continues to work to build and maintain…

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Donald "Del" Laverdure: Nation Rebuilding through Constitutional Reform at Crow

In this in-depth interview with NNI's Ian Record, Donald “Del” Laverdure, citizen of the Apsáalooke Nation (Crow Tribe) and former Chief Justice of the Crow Tribe Court of Appeals, discusses his nation's monumental effort to discard a constitution and system of governance that were not working and…

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Sophie Pierre: Enacting Self-Determination and Self-Governance at Ktunaxa

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Sophie Pierre, longtime chief of the Ktunaxa Nation, discusses Ktunaxa's ongoing effort to reclaim and redesign their system of governance through British Columbia's treaty process, specifically Ktunaxa's citizen-led process to develop a new…

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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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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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Hepsi Barnett: How Did We Go About Remaking Our Constitution?

Former staff member Hepsi Barnett of the Osage Government Reform Commission discusses the process by which the Osage Nation approached the task of developing a new constitution and system of government, and also provides the complex history that necessitated their creation.   This video resource is…

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'We are getting stronger'

'We are getting stronger'

An economic, political and cultural renaissance is underway throughout Indian Country in the United States. It’s been going on for nearly a quarter-century. Whereas in the 1980s, economic growth on Indian reservations lagged far behind the rate of the U.S. economy, through the booming 1990s and the…

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Teach youth about forms of government

Teach youth about forms of government

Why aren’t the schools teaching about the IRA form of government? Why aren’t they teaching about the traditional tiospaye form of government? The disenchantment and what appears to be apathy or even seditiousness toward the Indian Reorganization Act system of government have become “normal” among…

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Tribe Moves Slowly But Surely Towards a New Constitution

Tribe Moves Slowly But Surely Towards a New Constitution

The specter of a constitution has again risen in Cherokee, making its way to committee for the first time in 15 years. Tribal council last week voted to create a constitutional task force, the second step in a long process that will require discussions, debates and, should it reach the final finish…