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Northern Cheyenne Constitutional Reform

Northern Cheyenne Constitutional Reform

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe is a sovereign nation. It is a federally-recognized Indian tribe with powers and authority to govern the activities of its members. The Tribe is governed by a Constitution and Bylaws first adopted on November 23, 1935. In the early 1990s, in order to meet the demands of…

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Eva Petoskey: Empowering Good Leadership Through Capable Governance: What My Leadership Experience Taught Me

Eva Petoskey, citizen and former council member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB), discusses her experiences as an elected leader during a pivotal time in GTB's history. She also stress the importance of Native nations developing capable institutions of self-governance…

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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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Catalina Alvarez and Robert McGhee: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office (Q&A)

Tribal leaders Catalina Alvarez (Pascua Yaqui Tribe) and Robert McGhee (Poarch Band of Creek Indians) field questions from seminar participants on an array of topics ranging from codes of ethics to creating mechanisms for transparent governance.

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

Carlos Hisa and Esequiel (Zeke) Garcia from Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (YDSP) provide an overview of the approach that YDSP is following as it works to redefine its criteria for citizenship through community-based decision making. They also share the negative impacts that adherence to blood quantum as…

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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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Donald "Del" Laverdure: Nation Rebuilding through Constitutional Reform at Crow

In this in-depth interview with NNI's Ian Record, Donald “Del” Laverdure, citizen of the Apsáalooke Nation (Crow Tribe) and former Chief Justice of the Crow Tribe Court of Appeals, discusses his nation's monumental effort to discard a constitution and system of governance that were not working and…

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Luann Leonard, Stephen Roe Lewis and Walter Phelps: Bridging the Gap: How Native Culture Forges Native Leaders

Luann Leonard (Hopi), Stephen Roe Lewis (Gila River Indian Community), and Walter Phelps (Navajo) discuss how their personal approaches to leadership have been and continue to be informed by their Native nations' distinct cultures and core values and those keepers of the culture in their…

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Peterson Zah: Native Nation Building: The Place of Education

Dr. Peterson Zah, former Chairman and President of the Navajo Nation, discusses the importance of higher education in empowering Native nations' efforts to achieve their nation-building goals. He also discusses the Navajo Nation Permanent Trust Fund as an example of the strategic orientation that…

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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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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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Richard Luarkie: Leadership and Nation Building at Pueblo of Laguna

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Governor Richard Luarkie of the Pueblo of Laguna discusses Laguna's approach to nation building, the roles their core values and time-tested process for cultivating effective leaders has played in that effort, and how and why Laguna has worked to…

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Adam Geisler: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office

Adam Geisler, Secretary of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, discusses the diverse set of challenges he faces as an elected leader of his nation and discusses some of the innovative ways that he, his leadership colleagues, and his nation have worked to overcome those challenges. He also offers…

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NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow: Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell (Part 2)

In part two of his Indigenous Leadership Fellow interview, Grand Chief Michael Mitchell of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne touches on a wide range of nation-building topics, notably the importance of clearly defining the distinct roles and responsibilities of leaders and administrators working on…

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Ned Norris, Jr.: Strengthening Governance at Tohono O'odham

Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. discusses how his nation has systematically worked to strengthen its system of governance, from creating an independent, effective judiciary to developing an innovative, culturally appropriate approach to caring for the nation's elders.

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From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "The Challenges of Leadership"

Native leaders and scholars discuss some of the many formidable challenges facing leaders of Native nations, from the incredible demands on their time to the vast array of things they need to know and learn.

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Rebecca Miles: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office

Nez Perce Tribe Executive Director Rebecca Miles discusses the challenges she faced as the first-ever chairwoman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, and the strategies she used in order to govern effectively and make informed decisions.

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Good Data Leads to Good Sovereignty

Good Data Leads to Good Sovereignty

The lack of good data about U.S. American Indian and Alaska Native populations hinders tribes’ development activities, but it also highlights a space for sovereign action. In coming years, tribes will no doubt continue to advocate for better national data and at the same time increasingly implement…

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Wisdom From Mel: It's Okay to Not Know Everything

Wisdom From Mel: It's Okay to Not Know Everything

Mel Tonasket was not formally educated but he had lobbied and negotiated with Congressman and Senators. When Mel was in Washington D.C. he heard the fancy words from the Solicitors office. He was determined to fight for tribes and not let the “Suyapees” (Anglos) get the best of us — so when he…

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What Does Indigenous Participatory Democracy Look Like? Kahnawà:Ke's Community Decision Making Process

What Does Indigenous Participatory Democracy Look Like? Kahnawà:Ke's Community Decision Making Process

With the 1979 Community Mandate to move towards Traditional Government, the community of Kahnawà:ke has consistently requested more involvement in decision-making on issues that affect the community as a whole. The Kahnawà:ke Community Decision Making Process is a response to the community's call…