nationhood

Thumbnail or cover image
Sovereignty and Peoplehood

Sovereignty and Peoplehood

The term "sovereignty" perplexes students of the American Indian policy perhaps more than any other concept. The word comes from the Old French soverain or souverein and was usually used in reference to a king or lord who had the undisputed right to make decisions and act accordingly with or…

Thumbnail

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…

Thumbnail

Jill Doerfler: Constitutional Reform at the White Earth Nation

In this in-depth interview with NNI's Ian Record, Anishinaabe scholar Jill Doerfler discusses the White Earth Nation's current constitutional reform effort, and specifically the extensive debate that White Earth constitutional delegates engaged in regarding changing the criteria for White Earth…

Thumbnail

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…

Thumbnail

NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow: Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell (Part 1)

Grand Chief Michael Mitchell of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne provides an overview of the nation-building work his nation has engaged in over the past four decades, from its decision to move away from the Indian Act to its systematic development of capable governing institutions designed to…

Thumbnail

Chris Hall: Cultivating Constitutional Change at Crow Creek

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Chris Hall, a citizen of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and a member of Cohort 4 of the Bush Foundation's Native Nation Rebuilders program, discusses Crow Creek's current effort to reform its constitution, and the importance of fully educating and…

Thumbnail

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.

Thumbnail

From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "Constitutions: Reflecting and Enacting Culture and Identity"

Hepsi Barnett, Frank Ettawageshik, Greg Gilham and Donald "Del" Laverdure offer their perspectives on the opportunity that constitutional reform presents Native nations with respect to reintegrating their distinct cultures and identities into their governance systems.

Thumbnail

Michael K. Mitchell: Perspectives on Leadership and Nation Building

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Michael K. Mitchell discusses the Akwesasne Mohawk's effort to regain control over their own affairs, and offers his advice to leaders who are working to regain jurisdiction over their lands and resources as well as rebuild their nations.

Image
How Do We Re-Member?

How Do We Re-Member?

On July 2, the tribal council of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde held a special meeting to allow their citizens an opportunity to testify for or against a proposed emergency enrollment ordinance whereby the Council sought to delegate its constitutional authority to involuntarily…

Image
Indigenous and 21st Century Nationalisms

Indigenous and 21st Century Nationalisms

Indigenous Peoples live within the boundaries of nation-states but usually do not conform to the cultural, political, economic institutions and identities of their host states. Most contemporary democratic nation states are created by agreement through adoption of a constitution, which spells out…

Image
Authenticity: Ethnic Indians, non-Indians and Reservation Indians

Authenticity: Ethnic Indians, non-Indians and Reservation Indians

Authenticity is a puzzling feature of contemporary Indian life. Growing up on an Indian reservation, I rarely encountered challenges to one’s identity as an Indian person. People within the reservation community knew most of the families. If they didn’t know the family connections of a specific…

Image
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…

Image
How Tribal Nations Need to Be Understood Around the World

How Tribal Nations Need to Be Understood Around the World

The word “nation” is one of those words that gets thrown around haphazardly by academics, laypeople and politicians alike; it has become synonymous with “nation-state” and “state” to describe what we understand today as the global polities we refer to as countries. But there are distinctions to be…

Image
Tribal Governments: What Price 'Democracy'?

Tribal Governments: What Price 'Democracy'?

A puzzling aspect of the term tribe is its lack of a clear definition. Even the Department of the Interior, the last word on federal recognition, doesn’t have one. Most tribal communities do have an expression in their own language of what their community means to them and to their people. Take…

Thumbnail

Indian Pride: Episode 102: Treaties & Sovereignty

Indian Pride, an American Indian cultural magazine television series, spotlights the diverse cultures of American Indian people throughout the country. This episode of Indian Pride features John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund, and focuses on understanding Indian…

Image
Processes of Native Nationhood: The Indigenous Politics of Self-Government

Processes of Native Nationhood: The Indigenous Politics of Self-Government

Over the last three decades, Indigenous peoples in the CANZUS countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States) have been reclaiming self-government as an Indigenous right and practice. In the process, they have been asserting various forms of Indigenous nationhood. This article…

Image
Declaration of Tsawwassen Identity & Nationhood

Declaration of Tsawwassen Identity & Nationhood

We are Tsawwassen People – ‘People facing the sea’, descendants of our ancestors who exercised sovereign authority over our land for thousands of years. Tsawwassen People were governed under the sÉ™niw (advice) and guidance of siË€em (leaders), sciË€eÉ« (highborn women) hiwaqÊ· (headmen), and…