constitutional reform

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Native Nation Building TV: "Introduction to Nation Building"

Guests Manley Begay and Stephen Cornell present the key research findings of the Native Nations Institute and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. They explain the five keys to successful community and economic development for Native nations (sovereignty or practical self-…

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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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Native Nation Building TV: "Leadership and Strategic Thinking"

Guests Peterson Zah and Angela Russell tie together the themes discussed in the previous segments into a conversation about how Native nations and their leaders move themselves and their peoples towards nation building. They address the question all Native nations have: How do we get where we want…

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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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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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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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Wilma Mankiller: Governance, Leadership and the Cherokee Nation

As part of its ongoing interview series "Leading Native Nations," the Native Nations Institute (NNI) interviewed Wilma Mankiller, the late and former Chief of the Cherokee Nation, in September 2008. In the interview, she discussed her compelling personal story as well as the challenges the Cherokee…

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Frank Ettawageshik: Reforming the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Constitution: What We Did and Why

Frank Ettawageshik, Former Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBBO), discusses how LTBBO came to develop a new constitution and system of government, the key components of the LTBBO constitution, and how the new LTBBO constitution differs in fundamental ways from the old…

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Native Nation Building TV: "Constitutions and Constitutional Reform"

Guests Joseph P. Kalt and Sophie Pierre explore the evidence that strong Native nations require strong foundations, which necessarily require the development of effective, internally created constitutions (whether written or unwritten). It examines the impacts a constitution has on the people it…

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Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Community Engagement Meeting held in Redby

Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Community Engagement Meeting held in Redby

The second of six scheduled Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Community Engagement Meetings was held at the Redby Community Center on March 24, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The first meeting was held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center on March 22, 2014 with about 60 people in…

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Citizen Potawatomi Nation reverses decline through strong leaders, entrepreneurship

Citizen Potawatomi Nation reverses decline through strong leaders, entrepreneurship

The big idea: In recent years, some tribes have reaped huge profits from their gambling operations. Most American Indians, however, are still mired in poverty, unemployment, addictions, ill health and hopelessness. Is there a way to create a better future in Indian Country? The Citizen Potawatomi…

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Red Lake Constitutional Reform Informational Meetings Held

Red Lake Constitutional Reform Informational Meetings Held

Issues that affect the Nation's language, culture, land and resources were the topics of the final session of the first round of meetings hosted by the Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Committee (CRI). The committee was seeking input by Red Lake enrolled Citizens and immediate family in the…

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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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Red Lake Constitutional Reform Wraps up Informational Meetings

Red Lake Constitutional Reform Informational Meetings Held

The meeting at Bemidji was one leg of the second round of informational meetings conducted by the Red Lake Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) in order to seek input and feedback from the membership regarding Constitutional Reform. Meetings are held in Duluth and the Twin Cites in addition to the…

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White Earth Nation Adopts New Constitution

White Earth Nation Adopts New Constitution

In a historic vote, on November 19, 2013, the White Earth Nation in northwestern Minnesota became the first member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT) to adopt a new constitution. Of the 3,492 ballots counted, the vote was 2,780 in favor and 712 opposed, a 79 percent approval. Since the ballots…

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Leech Lake, Red Lake Ojibwe bands moving on constitutional reform

Leech Lake, Red Lake Ojibwe bands moving on constitutional reform

On Tuesday, tribal members of the White Earth Nation voted resoundingly to adopt their own constitution and eventually split from the 80-year-old Minnesota Chippewa Tribe constitution that dictates the laws of many Ojibwe tribes in the state. Neighboring Ojibwe bands at Leech Lake and Red Lake may…

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Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation: Constitutional Reform

Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation: Constitutional Reform

Days after certification of the Secretarial Election, positive comments were coming into the office of the Constitutional Revision committee. Donna Morgan and Ramona Two Shields began receiving flowers and calls from tribal members happy with the results. Both Two Shields and Morgan say it was the…

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Tribes across the country are re-examining their constitutions

Tribes across the country are re-examining their constitutions

Erma Vizenor is not exactly a revolutionary. But like America’s founders, she’s on a mission to ratify a new constitution in her homeland – the White Earth tribal nation. Most Americans don’t realize that tribes have their own constitutions, which set down rules for everything from tribal…

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Successful Tribes Are Reshaping Governance

Successful Tribes Are Reshaping Governance

American Indian communities are often offered up as the gold standard of dysfunction in America. With our high rates of entrenched poverty, we top the lists of addiction, suicide and other social ills. It’s platitude that, frankly, gets tiring to hear. We in the media like to describe the best and…

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Oglala Sioux tribe to vote on constitutional changes

Oglala Sioux tribe to vote on constitutional changes

A more stable tribal government and economic development on the reservation could be the result of a vote on constitutional changes by Oglala Sioux Tribal members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation April 22, supporters say...Key proposals include an amendment to separate the tribe's judicial…