membership criteria

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Leroy Shingoitewa: Self-Governance with Hopi Values

Leroy Shingoitewa, member of the bear clan, and served as chairman of the Hopi tribe and since January 2016, has served as a councilman representing the village of Upper Moenkopi.  He recalls the intricacies of governing while maintiang Hopi values and traditions.

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Verna Bailey: Making Self-Governance Work for Standing Rock

Former councilwoman Verna Bailey of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe representing the Long Soldier District reveals the ins and outs of working with changes in a tribal council government.  Her experiences offer insight into the history of self-governance for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

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John 'Rocky' Barrett: Blood Quantum's Impact on the Citizen Potawatomi Nation

In this short excerpt from his 2009 interview with NNI, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett discusses the devastating impacts that blood quantum exacted on the Citizen Potawatomi people before the nation did away with blood quantum as its main criteria for citizenship through…

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John "Rocky" Barrett: The Origins of Blood Quantum Among the Citizen Potawatomi

In this excerpt from his presentation at NNI's "Emerging leaders" seminar in 2012, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett provides an overview of how the U.S. government -- specifically the Bureau of Indian Affairs -- imposed blood quantum on the Citizen Potawatomi people, and how…

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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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Vanya Hogen: Redefining Citizenship Criteria Through Constitutional Reform and Other Means

Lawyer and tribal judge Vanya Hogen (Oglala Sioux) discusses the difficulties inherent in amending Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) constitutions to redefine tribal citizenship criteria, and shares the story of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community as an example of one Native nation with an IRA…

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Ian Record: Constitutional Reform: Some Perspectives on Process

Dr. Ian Record, NNI Manager of Educational Resources, provides a broad overview of the inherent difficulties involved with constitutional reform, the different processes that Native nations are developing to engage in constitutional reform, and some of the effective reform strategies that NNI is…

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Gwen Phillips: Defining and Cultivating Strong, Healthy Ktunaxa Citizens

Gwen Phillips, Director of Corporate Services and Governance Transition with the Ktunaxa Nation, discusses how Ktunaxa people gained a sense of Ktunaxa identity and belonging traditionally, and the different criteria that Ktunaxa is considering including among its citizenship criteria today.

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Carole Goldberg: Internal Considerations in Redefining Citizenship

Scholar Carole Goldberg discusses the internal considerations that Native nations should ponder when deciding whether and how to change their citizenship criteria.

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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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Native Leaders and Scholars: The Movement Away from Blood Quantum

Several Native leaders and scholars discuss the growing movement away from blood quantum as a primary criteria for determining eligibility for citizenship in Native nations.

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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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Taylor Keen: The Disenfranchisement of the Cherokee Freedmen: Assertion or Abuse of Sovereignty?

Taylor Keen (Cherokee), a former member of the Cherokee Nation Council, discusses the stand he took against his nation's recent decision to disenfranchise the Cherokee Freedman. He offers a convincing argument against the move, explaining that taking away the citizenship rights of the Freedmen…

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Dismembering Natives: The Violence Done by Citizenship Fights

Dismembering Natives: The Violence Done by Citizenship Fights

Outside Indian Country most don't realize that over the past 10 years, several thousand people have had their tribal citizenship status terminated. Most were not dismembered for wrongdoing or adopted by other Native nations. They were simply identified by their elected officials as allegedly no…

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Disenrollment Demands Serious Attention by All Sovereign Nations

Disenrollment Demands Serious Attention by All Sovereign Nations

For most people, their sense of who they are–their identity–is at least partially defined from connection to others and to a community. When individuals are forced to sever those connections, the consequences can be devastating. Unfortunately, all too often in tribal disenrollment conflicts–like…

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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…