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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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…

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Aangwaamas! It's Time!: The Making of the Red Lake Constitution

Produced by the Red Lake Constitution Reform Committee, "Aangwaamas!" provides Red Lake Nation citizens and others a short overview of the nation's constitutional history and why it is now time to develop a new constitution capable of supporting Red Lake in the 21st century and beyond.

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Constitutions Fact Sheet

Constitutions Fact Sheet

The National Centre for First Nations Governance developed this quick reference for Native nations who are discussing constitutions and constitutional reform.