core values

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Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School

Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School

Founded in 1997, the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School aims to create a dynamic learning environment in which community members not only learn and teach, but are able to actively contribute to the success of their nations. Four themes guide the Institute’s work: leadership,…

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John Borrows: Revitalizing Indigenous Constitutionalism in the 21st Century

In this thoughtful conversation with NNI's Ian Record, scholar John Borrows (Anishinaabe) discusses Indigenous constitutionalism in its most fundamental sense, and provides some critical food for thought to Native nations who are wrestling with constitutional development and change in the 21st…

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Richard Luarkie: The Pueblo of Laguna: A Constitutional History

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Laguna Governor Richard Luarkie provides a detailed overview of what prompted the Pueblo of Laguna to first develop a written constitution in 1908, and what led it to amend the constitution on numerous occasions in the century since. He also…

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John Borrows: Who Are We and How Do We Know?

University of Minnesota Law Professor John Borrows (Anishinaabe) discusses how the Anishinaabe traditionally defined and practiced notions of social identity and belonging, and how those definitions and practices were rooted in relationships: relationships between those deemed to be part of the…

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Carlos Hisa and Esequiel (Zeke) Garcia: Ysleta del Sur Pueblo: Redefining Citizenship (Q&A)

Carlos Hisa and Zeke Garcia from Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (YDSP) field questions about YDSP's current community-based effort to redefine its criteria for citizenship, and they provide additional detail about the great lengths to which YDSP has gone in order to document the origins and history of their…

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Shannon Douma: Cultivating Good Leadership: The Santa Fe Indian School's Summer Policy Academy

Shannon Douma (Pueblo of Laguna) provides a detailed overview of how the Santa Fe Indian School's Summer Policy Academy works to develop Pueblo youth to ably take the leadership reins of their nations through a rigorous curriculum designed to build up their sense of cultural identity and personal…

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Robert Innes: Elder Brother and the Law of the People: Maintaining Sovereignty Through Identity and Culture

Robert Innes, a citizen of the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, discusses how traditional Cowessess kinship systems and practices continue to structure and inform the individual and collective identities of Cowessess people today, and how those traditional systems and practices are serving…

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Shannon Douma and Richard Luarkie: How Do We Choose Our Leaders and Maintain Quality Leadership? (Q&A)

Shannon Douma and Richard Luarkie (Pueblo of Laguna) field questions from seminar participants about how the Pueblo and also the Santa Fe Indian School's Summer Policy Academy groom Pueblo youth to take over the reins of leadership of their nations.

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Floyd "Buck" Jourdain: Constitutional Reform and Leadership at the Red Lake Nation

Floyd "Buck" Jourdain, Chairman of the Red Lake Nation from 2004 to 2014, discusses his nation's constitutional reform effort and the supporting role he played in helping to get the effort off of the ground. He also talks about how comprehensive constitutional reform will empower his nation's…

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Deborah Locke: Disenrollment: My Personal Story

Deborah Locke, adopted by a Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa couple when she was a small child, shares her heartbreaking story of how she and her adopted siblings were disenrolled by the Band decades later because they were not the biological descendants of Fond du Lac Band members and…

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Richard Luarkie: How Do We Choose Our Leaders and Maintain Quality Leadership?: The Pueblo of Laguna

Pueblo of Laguna Governor Richard Luarkie provides a brief overview of how Laguna citizens gradually and systematically ascend up the leadership ranks within the Pueblo through their adherence to and practice of Pueblo core values.

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Justin Beaulieu: The Red Lake Nation's Approach to Constitutional Reform

Justin Beaulieu (Red Lake Nation), coordinator of the Red lake Nation Constitution Reform Initiative, provides a detailed overview of how the Red Lake Nation's constitution reform committee has designed and is implementing a methodical, strategic, comprehensive approach to reviewing and reforming…

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Sharon Day: Disenrollment: Contemplating A More Inclusive Approach

Sharon Day (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa) makes a compelling case for Native nations to abandon externally imposed criteria for citizenship that continue to cause internal divisions within Native nations and communities and instead return to Indigenous cultural values and teachings predicated on…

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Patricia Riggs: Making Change Happen at Ysleta del Sur Pueblo

Patricia Riggs, Director of Economic Development at Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (YDSP), discusses how YDSP has developed and honed a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to ciutizen engagement over the past decade in order to ensure that the decisions the YDSP government make reflect and enact the will…

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Eldena Bear Don't Walk: So What's So Important about Tribal Courts?

Eldena Bear Don't Walk, Chief Justice of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, discusses some of the things that tribal justice systems need to have in place in order to be effective, and how important it is for Native nation governments and citizens to respect and support the decisions…

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Robert Yazzie: Traditional Principles of Leadership

Former Chief Justice Robert Yazzie of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court provides an overview of the traditional Diné governance system and specifically the leadership principles that Diné leaders relied upon to make sound, informed, strategic decisions in consultation with and on behalf of their…

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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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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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John Borrows: Anishinaabe Principles of Citizenship and Identity

University of Minnesota Law Professor John Borrows (Anishinaabe) provides an overview of how Anishinaabe people defined citizenship and identity traditionally, and how the cultural principles embedded in that traditional definition possess great power to inform laws defining tribal citizenship…

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Jill Doerfler: Defining Citizenship: Blood Quantum vs. Descendancy

Scholar Jill Doerfler (Anishinaabe) talks about the colonial origins of blood quantum as a criterion for determining "Indian" and tribal identity, and explains how the federal government imposed that criterion upon the White Earth people in order to divest them of their land. She also stresses the…