Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)

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Ivan Star Comes Out: The Indian Reorganization Act at 80 years

The Indian Reorganization Act at 80 years

At Pine Ridge, daily controversy surrounds the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. Congress enacted the IRA on June 18, 1934. However, the voting requirement was drastically altered just three days prior. This amendment (H.R. 7781, 49 Stat., 378) dated June 15, 1934, lowered the overall voting…

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Indigenous Land Management in the United States: Context, Cases, Lessons

Indigenous Land Management in the United States: Context, Cases, Lessons

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is seeking ways to support First Nations’ economic development. Among its concerns are the status and management of First Nations’ lands. The Indian Act, bureaucratic processes, the capacities of First Nations themselves, and other factors currently limit the…

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Broken Government: Constitutional Inadequacy Spawns Conflict at San Carlos

Broken Government: Constitutional Inadequacy Spawns Conflict at San Carlos

This article, published in 1999, examined the governmental conflict taking place at the San Carlos Apache Tribe. It explored the historical constitutional roots of the conflict, specifically the ineffectiveness and culturally inappropriate Indian Reorganization constitution and system of government…

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Terry Janis: Citizen Engagement and Constitutional Change at the White Earth Nation

Terry Janis (Oglala Lakota), former Project Manager of the White Earth Nation Constitution Reform Project, provides participants with a detailed overview of the multi-faceted approach to citizen engagement that the White Earth Nation followed as it worked to educate the White Earth people about the…

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Good Native Governance Break Out 3: Tribal Constitutional Revitalization

UCLA School of Law "Good Native Governance" conference presenters, panelists and participants Melissa L. Tatum, Devon Lee Lomayesva, and Jill Doerfler discuss constitutional reform efforts. Melissa describes the purpose of consitutions. Using her own Nation's experience, Devon discusses the Iipay…

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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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Robert Hershey and Andrew Martinez: The Legal Process of Constitutional Reform (Q&A)

Robert Hershey and Andrew Martinez engage participants in a lively discussion about the intricacies of secretarial elections and whether and how Native nations with Indian Reorganization Act constitutions should remove the Secretary of Interior approval clause from those governing documents.

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Robert Hershey: Dispelling Stereotypes about the Federal Government's Role in Native Nation Constitutional Reform

Robert Hershey, Professor of Law and American Indian Studies at The University of Arizona, dispels some longstanding stereotypes about what the federal government can and will do should a Native nation decide to amend its constitution to remove the Secretary of Interior approval clause or else make…

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Terry Janis: The White Earth Nation Constitutional Reform Process

In this lively and far-reaching discussion with NNI's Ian Record, Terry Janis (Oglala Lakota), former project manager of the White Earth Nation Constitution Reform Project, provides an overview of the citizen education and engagement campaign that preceded White Earth's historic vote to ratify a…

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Lenor Scheffler: The Lower Sioux Indian Community's Approach to Citizenship

Lawyer Lenor Scheffler (Lower Sioux Indian Community) provides an overview of the Lower Sioux Indian Community's approach to defining citizenship, which is predicated on residency within the Lower Sioux reservation's boundaries. She also discusses how eligibility for tribal social services is tied…

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Bethany Berger: Citizenship: Culture, Language and Law

University of Connecticut Law Professor Bethany Berger provides a brief history of the federal policies that have negatively impacted the ways that Native nations define and enforce their criteria for citizenship historically through to the present day.  This video resource is featured on the…

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Ian Record: Citizen Engagement: The Key to Establishing and Sustaining Good Governance

For Native nations, establishing and sustaining the good governance necessary to determine and then achieve their strategic priorities hinges on citizen engagement: the ability of a nation and its government to consult and educate its citizens about the major decisions it makes and implements in…

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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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Brian Cladoosby: The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community's Approach to Governance and Intergovernmental Relations

In this wide-ranging interview with NNI's Ian Record, Chairman Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community discusses Swinomish's unique governance system, its approach to building relationships with other governments to achieve its strategic priorities, and what he feels are the…

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Carole Goldberg: Designing Tribal Citizenship

Scholar Carole Goldberg shares what she's learned about citizenship criteria from her extensive work with Native nations across the country, and sets forth the internal and external considerations that Native nations need to wrestle with in determining what their citizenship criteria should be.

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David Wilkins: Putting the Noose on Tribal Citizenship: Modern Banishment and Disenrollment

The final speaker for the 2008 Vine Deloria, Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholars Series at the University of Arizona, scholar David Wilkins (Lumbee) shares his research into the recent and growing phenomenon of disenrollment that is occurring across Indian Country, and delves into the likely…

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Constitutions and Constitutional Reform - Day 1 (Q&A)

Presenters and moderators from the first day of NNI's "Tribal Constitutions" seminar gather to field questions from seminar participants on a variety of topics ranging from dual citizenship to the relationship between a nation's constitution and its economic development environment.

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Anthony Hill: Constitutional Reform on the Gila River Indian Community

Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) Chief Judge Anthony Hill, who served as Chair of the Gila River Constitutional Reform Team, discusses the reform process that GRIC followed, the current state of GRIC's reform effort, and what he sees as lessons learned from Gila River's experience.

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Ian Record: Setting the Focus and Providing the Context: Critical Constitutional Reform Tasks (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "The Process of Constitutional Reform: The Challenge of Citizen Engagement," NNI's Ian Record lays out two critical overarching tasks that those charged with leading a nation's constitutional reform effort must undertake.

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Robert Hershey: The Legal Process of Constitutional Reform

Robert Hershey, Professor of Law and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, provides an overview of what Native nations need to consider when it comes to the legal process involved with reforming their constitutions, and dispels some of the misconceptions that people have about the…