governance reform

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Osage Nation Governmental Reform Initiative

Osage Nation Governmental Reform Initiative

At the turn of the 20th century, the US government abolished the 1881 Osage Nation Constitution and imposed rules for land ownership and citizenship. Many Osage citizens were disenfranchised and the Tribal Council was granted only limited powers, which lead to years of weak government, corruption,…

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Diné (Navajo) Local Governance Projects

Diné (Navajo) Local Governance Projects

Formed in 1989 by the Navajo Nation Council, the Office of Navajo Government Development works with the Diné people and their elected leaders to conduct government reform, foster the incorporation of Navajo culture and tradition into the Navajo Nation Code, and facilitate the transference of…

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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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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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LeRoy Staples Fairbanks III: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office

Leroy Staples Fairbanks III, who serves on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Council, discusses some of the hard stances he had to take in order to do his job well and also shares an overview of some of the major steps thatthe leech Lake Band has taken in order to govern more effectively and use its…

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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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Darrin Old Coyote: Reforming the Apsaalooke (Crow) Nation's Governing System: What Did We Do and Why Did We Do It?

Vice Secretary Darrin Old Coyote of the Crow Tribe's Executive Branch provides a brief history of the Crow Tribe's governance system, and explains the factors that prompted the Tribe to abandon its governance system in 2001 and replace it with a new constitution and system of government entirely of…

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Patricia Riggs: Educating and Engaging the Community: What Works?

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Economic Development Director Patricia Riggs shares the citizen education and engagement strategies her nation employed in strengthening its governance system. This video resource is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Bush Foundation.

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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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Greg Gilham: Engaging the Nation's Citizens and Effecting Change: The Blackfeet Nation Story

Greg Gilham, Former Chair of the Blackfeet Nation's Constitution Reform Committee, discusses the process the committee developed to move constitutional reform forward.

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James R. Gray: Government Reform: Mobilizing Citizen Participation

Former Osage Nation Principal Chief Jim Gray explains the significant citizen-engagement hurdle the Osage Nation had to overcome in creating a new constitution and governance system, and how its ability to cultivate citizen participation and ownership in the development of Osage's new government…

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Honoring Nations: Hepsi Barnett, Tony Fish and Joyce Wells: Reclaiming Native Nations (Q&A)

Native leaders Hepsi Barnett, Tony Fish, and Joyce Wells share a deeper level of detail about the roots and impacts of their nations' Honoring Nations award-winning programs.

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Honoring Nations: Hepsi Barnett: The Osage Government Reform Initiative

Former Osage Government Reform Commission Staff Member Hepsi Barnett discusses the historical events and resulting governance issues that prompted the Osage Nation to create an entirely new constitution and system of government in 2006.

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Priscilla Iba: Osage Government Reform

Osage Government Reform Commission Member Priscilla Iba discusses the historical factors that prompted the Osage Nation to create an entirely new constitution and governance system, and how the Nation went to great lengths to cultivate the participation and ownership of Osage citizens in the reform…

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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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Leech Lake Band pushes for governmental reform

Leech Lake Band pushes for governmental reform

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is hosting the three-day “Build our Nation” convention which kicked off at noon Tuesday, Sept. 17 with a powwow and informational fair, followed by a “Nation-Building 101” educational session on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and wraps up on Thursday with a gathering of…

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Extinct No More: Hia-Ced O'odham Officially Join Tohono O'odham Nation

Extinct No More: Hia-Ced O'odham Officially Join Tohono O'odham Nation

After 33 years of hard work to right the past, the Hia-Ced O’odham, once thought to be extinct, can finally say they belong as part of the Tohono O’odham Nation. On June 12, the Hia-Ced O’odham District officials were sworn-in and the Hia-Ced District was officially recognized as the 12th district…

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Navajo Nation Delegation Still Ironing Out Issues After Three Years

Navajo Nation Delegation Still Ironing Out Issues After Three Years

More government reform may be on the horizon for the Navajo Nation. December 15 marks the three-year anniversary of the passing of a referendum that cut the 88-delegate legislative branch to 24 delegates. That vote went before the people, who approved reducing the Council by more than two-thirds. “…

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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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The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and its Application to Canadian Aboriginal Business

This lecture is part of a course Stephen Cornell is teaching in Simon Fraser University's Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership program. A panel of three joined Dr. Cornell in a discussion about the building of First Nation economies and the role citizen entrepreneurship can play in…