negotiation

Daryle Rigney: Asserting Cultural Match and Native Nation Building in Australia

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Daryle Rigney brings his expertise and first-hand experiences as a citizen of Ngarrindjeri Nation in South Australian to share his thoughts about Native Nation Building for the Ngarrindjeri Nation. He is a Professor of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement at College of Humanities Arts and Sciences at Flinders University, Board member in the Australia Indigenous Governance Institute, and member of the Indigenous Advisory Council for the Native Nations Institute. Daryle has spent better part of the last two decades supporting and directly working in efforts to bring the Ngarrindjeri community into a Regional Authority that governs using Native Nation building principles. In this interview Daryle explains the ways that Ngarrindjeri negotiated their self-governance with South Australia and implemented there own governing process that aligns with Ngarrindjeri cultural practices. Daryle has also been at the forefront to understanding the challenges and work behind protecting aboriginal cultural heritage and property through his involvement in protection of Ngarrindjeri people, traditions, burial sites, and ancestral materials.

People
Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Daryle Rigney: Asserting Cultural Match and Native Nation Building in Australia.” Leading Native Nations, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, January 11, 2019

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Chilkoot Tlingit "Nation Building"

Year

Excluded by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Chilkoot Tlingit are engaged in a process of nation-building. The process began in 1990 with the revival of their dormant tribal government, the Chilkoot Indian Association (CIA). From this institutional foundation, the 480-member CIA successfully negotiated the acquisition of a land base and began developing self-determined programs and initiatives. Today, the CIA administers almost $1 million of programs and contracts in the areas of education, health, housing, and economic development and participates in government-to-government relationships with local, state, federal, and international governmental entities.

Resource Type
Topics
Citation

"'Nation Building' Among the Chilkoot Tlingit". Honoring Nations: 2002 Honoree. The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2003. Report.

Permissions

This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. 

Grand Traverse Band's Land Claims Distribution Trust Fund

Year

After 26 years of negotiation with the US government over how monies from a land claims settlement would be distributed, the Band assumed financial control over the settlement by creating a Trust Fund system that provides annual payments in perpetuity to Band elders for supplementing their social security benefits. The Land Claims Distribution Fund was created to not only provide an additional permanent safety net for the Tribe's elders, but also to honor their lifetime contributions and sacrifices. The Fund also enables the Tribe to effectively manage its own settlement award rather than having it remain under the management of the US government.

Resource Type
Citation

"Land Claims Distribution Trust Fund". Honoring Nations: 1999 Honoree. The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2000. Report.

Permissions

This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. 

NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow: Frank Ettawageshik (Part 2)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Frank Ettawageshik, former chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBBO), discusses the critical role that intergovernmental relationship building plays in the practical exercise of sovereignty and the rebuilding of Native nations. He shares several compelling examples of how LTBBO built such relationships in order to achieve their strategic priorities.

Resource Type
Citation

Ettawageshik, Frank. "NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow (Part 2)." Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 13, 2010. Interview.

Ian Record:

"So we're back with Frank Ettawageshik. This is a continuation of the interview from April 6th. Today is April 13th and we're going to pick up where we left off, which was talking about constitutions. And I want to essentially go back to the very beginning on this topic and ask you for your definition of what a constitution is."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"The constitution is the method by which the people inform their government how they want the government to serve them and the government is a tool of the people to achieve what they need to achieve in terms of relations to other governments, in terms of relation to how things are going to work internally. The people themselves maintain the complete power. And then they can either give or take back certain powers to the government through the constitution. The constitution also establishes the mechanism for how the tribal government, the tribal nation will deal with other nations. It sets up the parameters for how you are going to do that, "˜which branch of government has which authority?' and all of those types of things. To me the constitution is a tool of the people for how they are going to manage their government."

Ian Record:

"What key ingredients do you feel constitutions need to have in order to be effective?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, constitutions...to me, there's a legislative function, there's a judicial function, and an executive function, and these need to be acknowledged and then the interplay between them is what the constitution does. Some tribal nations have constitutions where all of those powers are wrapped up into one body. Others have clear separations of powers, but even ones that have separation of powers the balance of those changes from one to another. So really those are important functions, I think another thing needs to be clearly you have to have an amendment clause on how you are going to amend it. You need to have some basic statements. I believe that it is extremely important to have like a bill of rights built into it. I think that's very important because those things need to be part of what our people come to expect in terms of how they are going to relate with their government. And when the people are telling the government how it's going to function they need to reserve for themselves certain rights, certain ways to protect themselves. I look at a constitution in a way as the people trying to protect themselves from their own government and I think that not only does it say how it's going to function, but it also limits how it's going to function, and guides it so that it will...constitutions that are poorly conceived or poorly written or ones that the community, the tribal nation has grown beyond, they can hamper how things will function. They can be difficult. For instance, constitutions do not require, nor does federal law require that they be adopted by secretarial election. Nor do they require that amendments be done by secretarial election, yet many constitutions throughout Indian Country require secretarial election by their own words, and so I think an important function there would be to not have that in your constitution. To me, you are either sovereign or you aren't, you are not part sovereign. And as a nation, tribal nations, sovereign tribal nations are constantly negotiating the exercise of that sovereignty with the other sovereigns around them. We may be with another tribe, another tribal nation close by, having some disputes about whose territories is whose or what...in economic development, there's room for competition and some issues. There could even be citizen issues regarding membership or citizenship. And we need to...the documents need to sort of deal with those things that are coming up."

Ian Record:

"I wanted to follow up on something you said. You talked about a number of Native nations growing beyond their constitutions. We hear that sort of refrain, particularly in the discussions of tribes who have Indian Reorganization Act systems of government that were adopted in the 1930s. They had a very different conception of the scope of self-governance, if you will. Is that something you've seen in your line of work, working with tribes both as chairman and now as executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Every tribe has its own constitution or its own, either written or not written, in terms of how the government's going to function. Most of the tribes I've worked with have written constitutions and they're all different and they have...there are clearly times when you move beyond something. The United States has amended its constitution a number of times, and not always successfully. Witness Prohibition for instance, and the fact that there's one amendment that brings it in and another one that takes it out. So the fact that a government might need to amend its constitution is not unusual. Some amendments may be more far ranging than others. Some amendments are a sentence here, or two. Other amendments might be more drastic than that, but I would think that, think of it rather that the constitution is an organic document that is evolving as the nation evolves."

Ian Record:

"I wanted to pick up on a specific aspect of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians' constitution, which was adopted in 2005, and it gets at this issue that you mentioned in the outset when defining constitutions, which is international or diplomatic relations. And explicit in your constitution is an acknowledgment of other sovereign nations and their inherent powers presuming that those sovereign nations, in turn, recognize and respect the sovereignty of your nation. Can you summarize what that clause says and give an overview of perhaps why your tribe felt it necessary to include that?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, when you, like I said, when you acknowledge that sovereignty in yourself and in others then you have to exercise or negotiate that sovereignty with your neighbors. So what I think is here is that you're constantly working with those other sovereigns, but you need to figure out how to decide who you are dealing with and who you aren't. And so the most basic way of that is that if somebody else acknowledges you, well you can acknowledge them, but you have to have some sort of a process for that. What this clause in our constitution does is it establishes a basis for some office, or staff person, or somebody that would be akin to a state department for instance, where there's an international relations office that deals with negotiations with other sovereigns and those types of things. Those negotiations, those other sovereigns might well be the United States and the laws that they are passing could have an effect on the way we exercise our sovereignty, but the fact that, for the most part, what we have done in Indian country is that we have federally recognized tribes deal with federally recognized tribes and I think what that does is that sort of...we're letting the United States decide who we're going to have diplomatic relations with, and I don't think that is a good idea. But we have the right to make that decision ourselves, but then along with that right comes the responsibility to do it in a way that you are doing it reasonably. So then what do we do? Do we have a whole acknowledgement process, each one of us? How do we go about doing that if we're not going to sort of let someone else vet the potential list of people with whom we'll have relations. I think the whole federal acknowledgement process doesn't grant sovereignty to those tribes that make it through, instead it acknowledges that they have it and that's what it's all about. So what that means is that the non-recognized tribes also are sovereign, and the state recognized tribes are sovereign, and the federally recognized tribes are sovereign. Tribal governments have inherent sovereignty and no one gives it to them. They have it because it comes through being in this creation. Well, you still have the responsibility to do it, to do it wisely because not everyone who claims to be a tribe is a tribe and that's the difficult thing. There are examples of people who have formed...recently, there have been some prosecutions here across the United States of people who have had various money, get-rich schemes, that involve pretending to be a tribe and issuing cards and charging people for it. Those are things we have to look out for, but then that's the responsibility of a sovereign nation is to not just look inward, but look outward because threats come from outside as well as potential good things come from outside and we have to be able to recognize them and deal with them."

Ian Record:

"You mentioned or we've been discussing the constitutional mandate within your tribe's constitution to essentially engage in international relations. It places a high value on that process. Since the 1980s, there's been an incredible growth in intergovernmental relations between Native nations and various other governments and I'm curious to learn from you, what do you think is driving this growth?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"A recognition that we need to look outside ourselves and work together. I mean if you look at what has happened across the world in this time, the European Union is formed and variety of very nationalistic individualistic nations realized the value of working together. While they still have their independence and unique in their own countries, at the same time, they have a centralized currency and other things that make for a good sense. Tribes have the same kind of thing. We know that there is strength in numbers and as a matter of fact back there in the revolutionary time here in the United States, many of our leaders spoke to the Continental Congress and to the early [U.S.] Congress about the strength of working together. As a matter of fact, there is a famous speech about 13 fires being stronger than one that was given and these are the kinds of things that come from us and our understanding and we often formed alliances of some sorts with us coming together, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy for instance is one, the Three Fires Confederacy is another, and there are others all across the country where different tribes have worked together. So what kind of things have we done?

One of the examples of working together is the formation of the National Congress of American Indians back in the '40s. It was formed to combat the national trend towards not recognizing the tribes, tribal governments or saying, "˜alright the tribal governments have progressed far enough, now we can terminate our relationship with them.' And so the whole Termination era came through and NCAI, that was one of the big pushes for NCAI. One of the things that we found as we were doing some studying and I still have more to do on this, but not only was there the non-profit corporation created that is the National Congress of American Indians, but at the same time there was also a treaty written and was signed by a number of the nations that acknowledged each others' sovereignty. I mean, it's a very...it showed and demonstrated in writing, the understanding of the tribal nations that they were and still are independent sovereigns and no matter what other people may think about it. And so, I think that that was one example, NCAI.

Other examples of working together I'm going to put up, more recently, we in the Great Lakes signed an agreement called the Tribal and First Nation Great Lakes Water Accord. This was done because the states and provinces were working on the issues of bulk ground water and diversion of water from the Great Lakes and how are they going to work together to deal with those issues as they came up and there had been a succession of agreements, finally one where they would agree and create binding agreements and then it was in the creation of these binding agreements that they started work and we got wind of the things. They talked to us a little, but they always talked to us as stakeholders and we felt that that wasn't correct. They needed to talk to us as sovereign governments within the region because we had court-adjudicated rights within that region. We were the only government with government-to-government relationship through treaties and that was important that we be apart of it, so when we weren't part of it and they did treat us as stakeholders we went out and called a meeting of all of the tribes and first nations in the Great Lakes Basin. There is about 185, some are together and some are not, and so when I say about there is a couple different ways of looking at it, but it's over 180 tribes and First Nations in the Great Lakes. We ended up having representatives -- either individually or either through consortia -- we ended up with representatives of 120 tribes and First Nations at a meeting with just a few weeks notice, which we negotiated and signed this water accord. Within one day, we were at the table, invited to the table to negotiate with the states and the provinces and what they planned on signing at about a month, it took actually almost a year before it was ready to go and we managed to strengthen those documents in a way that they will help protect the environment and the waters because we plugged holes that were there that were wide open because tribes and First Nations weren't there. We also took offending language out; they managed to negotiate language to come out of these documents that didn't acknowledge tribal property rights or tribal treaty rights. So in the end there's an interstate compact that's agreed [to] by all of the governors signed it with the tribes had to agree. And then the governors all had to get the state legislature in each of eight states to pass the identical wording which was no easy trick and they got that done and it went to the U.S. Congress where there was a lobby to push this through. If the interstate compact is approved by Congress it becomes law of the land and it's a provision within the U.S. Constitution that allows it.

So this interstate compact, there was a strong lobby trying to fight it because they thought it didn't go far enough. One of the key things it didn't do is it didn't bottle water in containers, 5 gallons and less is considered a consumptive use as opposed to a diversion. A lot of people felt that it should have been a diversion if that water was bottled and shipped outside of the Great Lakes aquifers. And so nevertheless it ended up passing at the U.S. Congress and it became law, then it was an international agreement that was signed between the eight states and the two Canadian provinces, Ontario and Quebec. With parallel language, but the two provinces weren't able to sign onto the interstate compact so they created this other document that has that in it. It at least deals with issues when there is a permit for a withdrawal of a lot of water from the ground that will be vetted through a process. The tribes and First Nations agreed that we would have a parallel process to the states, rather that all be a part of one process. So we are still working on how that is going to be set up, but nevertheless we've all agreed to it. Since that was signed there have been another 30 nations sign on, tribal nations and we now have about 150-160 that have signed out of the 185. So that is an example of an international agreement working between the tribes and working across what the United States calls an international border between it and Canada. And there are others, League of Indigenous Nations is another way we're working with, not only First Nations and tribes, but also with the Maori and the Aborigines, potentially with the Indigenous folks throughout Mexico and Latin America and other places. So we're looking at what kind of things are there that we all have in common. And Indigenous intellectual property rights, our medicines and stories for instance...issues of climate change and there's substantial things that we all have in common, trade relations with each other, the ability to trade not just in goods perhaps, but to trade in ideas and thoughts. Those are things that are important."

Ian Record:

"You've been discussing international relations primarily between tribal peoples, between tribal nations. Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians has also been very active in the arena of intergovernmental relations between your band and other local governments, state governments and that sort of thing. I'm wondering if you could discuss in what areas is your nation currently engaged in that arena? I know, for instance, you have cross-deputization agreements with two counties. Maybe talk a little bit more about what your tribe is doing in that area."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"And we've come a long way from the point...quite a long time ago as the chair, I received a letter from a local prosecutor who indicated that our police were impersonating police officers and they couldn't be on the roads with their lights and they couldn't have car with emblems and most importantly they couldn't have radios with those little chips in them that allowed them to pick up police frequencies and that I had 10 days to deliver them to them. So we wrote them a letter back and said "˜You know where those cars are, you are welcome to takes those anytime you want, but as soon as you do be prepared for a visit from the U.S. Attorney.' So we called the U.S. Attorney and had a nice chat and that same person ended up signing off on a limited deputization agreement within about a year and a half after that and then we have full deputization that has been signed since then with two different counties. We worked on trying to have seamless public safety within the community. We didn't want to be a haven for people who were breaking the law on one side of a line and then crossing the other and then thumbing their nose at the police or things like that. So we worked hard to make sure that when there's a search and rescue for instance that is going on, our officers are trained and a part of the team and can help. And the public safety of the community is enhanced because they have this additional training. In addition to that, we have crowd control issues. Our officers have worked on part of the security detail for the governor when the government does the Mackinac Bridge Walk every year. And every year it's a five-mile span. Every year on Labor Day we walk the bridge. It's a huge crowd and frankly, they pull in different local people and our officers as well. We also work closely with the county and state police. One of the stories from this inter-cooperative agreement kind of thing that we've been able to do: we had the U.S. attorney general come to visit at Little Traverse. And we had all kinds of security things and there's all kind of things you have to do. We, of course, had to have a bomb dog to sweep the whole building and they have this and that and all kind of things. And as he was leaving after this meeting, and he was meeting with all the tribes in Michigan, and after he was leaving, he pulled out from our grounds and drove by Little Bear Cave and saw that there was a state trooper, country sheriff, a city policeman, and tribal police all standing together chatting right there. And we got a call from the FBI in the car with him. He got a question, 'How did we do that?' But that was part of what we tried to do, we tried to build that relationship. We also, if they come on our territory unannounced, we're not against making sure that they know that they're not supposed to do it. So if we had an investigation going on and they forgot to call us or something, we'd let them know. But likewise, if we did something that they didn't like, they'd let us know, so we developed, what we did is we built in safety valves in our relationships so that they were there if there was an issue, we had a way to deal with it right away. And so it's been a cooperative venture when the sheriff of both counties and his deputies show up and they stood before me as the tribal chairman and took an oath to uphold the tribal constitution and all of our laws, that was a pretty big step."

Ian Record:

"This case is interesting because it calls to mind this perspective or mindset you used to see more in Indian Country than you do now, but the idea that, well if you enter an agreement or develop a formal relationship with a local municipality just off the reservation, or a county or a township or something like that, you're somehow relinquishing your sovereignty because those are minor-league governments and we're sovereign nations. That -- from what I can gather -- that perspective is being replaced gradually by the perspective that when a tribe chooses to engage those other governments, in whatever way they see fit, that it's actually an exercise of sovereignty. How do you see what your tribe's been doing in that area?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, that's exactly the way I'd put it, it is an exercise of sovereignty. An example of an exercise of sovereignty working locally is if you have someone slip and fall at your casino and they hurt themselves and they sue you, of course you've got the insurance company, but if the insurance company turns around and claims sovereign immunity every time somebody sues what are you paying the insurance for? So an exercise of sovereignty, one that helps us protect us and our customers would be [what we did] is to waive our sovereign immunity up to the limits of our insurance policy so that someone could sue and be taken care of if they needed to be, therefore getting what we were paying for when we bought our insurance. Well, that's an example of an exercise of sovereignty that works well. And governments waive sovereignty on a regular basis for things. I mean they waive their immunity but never waive sovereignty, let me correct myself there. And that exercising your sovereignty through a waiver of immunity is a responsible thing for a government to do towards its own citizens and towards the citizens of other nations with which we deal: our customers at the casino, our guests at the gas station, the customers coming by, and we have a hotel and we have conferences there, we have lots of people coming through. We have to deal with the issues of...I mean, one of the issues we ran into was within Indian Country it was illegal for anyone to carry a firearm unless there was some law that was passed that allowed it. So in the absence of it, it's illegal to have it. Well we had guests; we had the outdoor writers coming as an association. They were coming to our hotel and one of the things they were going to do was a rabbit hunt and they had all brought their guns and it was going to be illegal for them to have them in their room, to have them in their car in the parking lot, and so we had to pass a law that allowed how this set up, how this was going to happen. It was one of those responsibilities of being a sovereign that it became important to work on."

Ian Record:

"And so what you're saying is it's not just international relations, it's not just a sovereign challenge involving other governments, but involving individuals who are citizens of those governments, individuals like these sports writers and the casino patrons and so forth."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, ultimately it actually is dealing with the other sovereign, it's just that the other sovereign has citizens. And so as you interact with those citizens, you're interacting with that other sovereign government and you have to figure out how that's going to be done. So those are just some examples of things that we had to do that I felt are important. And ultimately, these things were things that our tribal council passed as laws and our tribal courts have worked to enforce and for the police and the courts to go through this. And so this is our tribal government at work in the process of making laws, being responsible, and exercising sovereignty."

Ian Record:

"I wanted to follow up a little bit more on intergovernmental relations. And obviously the water accord that your nation participated in is one example of many that your tribe's been engaged in developing over the course of the last several decades. And I'm curious to get your thoughts about taking collectively all those relationships that you developed, all those formal agreements you forged, how do those collectively work to advance your nation's rebuilding efforts."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, the prior administration to me, actually it was a four-year time period when I was not in office and during that time period, our tribe was one of the tribes that worked with the governor of the state in a tribal-state accord in which the State of Michigan acknowledged sovereignty of the tribes, pledged to work together and establish certain things that they would do. We...I came back in office, we were preparing to have, I think one of the first meetings where we'd all get together following that. And as we were preparing for that meeting, I just don't like to go to meetings where the outcome of the meeting is, "˜Well, we'll have another meeting.' I'd really like to actually have a product from the meeting. And I spoke about that and wanted to do that, other people agreed, and as a collective we developed a water accord with the State of Michigan. So this was how the tribes and the state would deal with the collective, our collective interest in the waters of the state. And the accord itself was one that's right about...it's on the heels of our tribal and First Nations water accord and it's all this, this time period is all sort of involved in the same effort. But with this one, instead of the tribes pledging to work together, we pledged to work together with the state and establish twice-yearly meetings, staff-level meetings, not elected-level, but staff-level meetings where we would deal with the issues of what came up relative to water. And of course water is part of the environment, so certain environmental things started coming in. Subsequent to that, we came up with another agreement that we put together creating an accord on economic development. And then we came up with an addendum to that, creating, establishing an agreement to do and economic development fellows program that would say, half state, half tribal –- state folks and tribal folks –- that would work say, over a couple-year period to get a cohort of participants on the same page relative to the issues of economic development in Indian Country. Well this has been a little slower to take, but it's been one that's been brewing and we have a meeting coming up in just a couple weeks from the day we're doing this interview that, where we're going to be furthering some of those issues with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Well, those are some of the things that we did and then, we also have signed a climate action, climate accord, dealing with climate change issues, also establishing twice-yearly meetings. I served on the Michigan Climate Action Council. I was appointed by the governor to be part of that council that helped create the plan for the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gasses and all the different issues surround climate change. And we turned in a report to the governor, and part of that report recommended that the tribe, that the state negotiate and sign with the tribes a climate accord. And the reason for that is because tribes are not political subdivisions of the state and it made, it would've been really difficult to incorporate us into the state's plan, but part of the state's plan was to sign an accord with us to work out common issues. And also part of the state's plan was to work with tribal organizations to further the issues. So for instance, they send a rep to the National Congress of American Indians' meetings relative to climate change, and to NTEC, the National Tribal Environmental Council, other meetings to make sure that they're, the state is sort of on sync with those things. So that's part of how we do with that accord. So when you look at each one of these accords, you put all this together, the tribal-state accord and the water, the economic development, the climate accord, you put all that together in terms of how we've related to the state, we've...I guess I should mention a couple of other things.

We also signed a tax agreement with the state. The state realized that we probably could go to court, which other tribes had done and that it was going to cost both of us millions of dollars and the outcome was uncertain. The uncertainty was there enough for the state that they felt that it was worthwhile trying to find a way to negotiate. So we ended up with a tribal-state tax agreement that is negotiated as a whole, then signed individually with the tribes and there's slight variations in each of them, but they're all pretty much set up...the system and then that also establishes an annual meeting where we get together to talk about the issues related to the taxes in the state. And sometimes our meetings, we've actually had a couple meetings that were over in 20 minutes. We had the meeting, we all got there, and we said, "˜Boy, it's really nice not to have anything to talk about.' So we chat with each other a little bit, reacquaint ourselves and eat a donut or two and we're done. Other times, we are actually in very long discussions and I've been in both of those kind [of meetings]. But the tax agreement was basically how the state is not going to collect taxes that it can't collect and what the mechanism is going to be for that. Well, these are other things that helped establish things. So we did this without having to go to court over the issue. And we believe that we got things that we wouldn't have gotten had we gone to court, but we also perhaps didn't get some things we might have gotten. So the question is, the state, both of us benefitted and we think that it furthered our interest by doing this."

Ian Record:

"I mean, I guess overall, overall from what you're saying, is that by consistently, continuously engaging in these sorts of efforts, you send a very clear message to the outside world -- whether it's the feds, the states, local neighboring communities to the reservation -- that, "˜We're big league governments. We're sovereign nations for real.' And then there's the message that you send to your own citizens. Isn't there a strong message that these sort of actions can send to your own people?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Yeah. Well they, I think that and one of the other agreements that we did was we settled U.S. v. Michigan fishing rights case and as we worked on that the original case had been filed years ago and then it was bifurcated. The inland portion was sort of put on idle and the Great Lakes portion proceeded through court and we won the right in court and there have been a 15-year and then a 20-year consent decree that have been negotiated on how we are going to exercise that right on the Great Lakes and so we continue to work with the five tribes in the state that are involved in that. Well, the inland portion eventually got to the point where it eventually where it was heating up and looked like it was getting ready to go to trial and we actually hired our witnesses and expert witnesses and we had done depositions and we were moving towards court, but we at the same time worked and a couple opportunities came up and we moved ahead in some negotiations and we thought we try to negotiate. We successfully negotiated a settlement in the inland portion of the U.S. v. Michigan fishing, hunting and gathering rights case. Unprecedented. I believe it's an exceptional agreement in that the tribes gave up things that we surely would have won had gone to court, but those are things that we already were not likely to want to exercise ourselves and one of them was commercialization of inland harvest and also putting gillnets in inland streams and rivers. Both of those were things that we didn't think were too wise, but we could have won those rights and probably would have if gone to court.

However, the state stipulated without going to trial that our treaty right existed perpetually. It's a permanent consent decree and so this was a big deal to us. The second thing was is that they ended up agreeing that we could exercise that right on property that the tribe owned whether they had just purchased it or whether it had been purchased years before and or whether it was a part of the reservation, whatever. They also agreed to do this on private lands with permission and this is way more than we would have won had we gone to court. So we think that we got a lot of things that are very important to us and gave up things, while they are important, they also were worth it in the deal and this is without spending millions of dollars and continuing to spend. It would have been appealed; it would have been a 10-year case by the time it went on. This was a success.

Well, what did that do in the end? At the end when we got this agreement, together we had the state DNR [Departemtn of Natural Resources] touting the agreement and holding classes and seminars around the state to let their citizens know about this agreement and to say why it was such a great idea and we had tribes doing the same thing, but on top of that we also had the various sportsmen associations and the lake owners' associations that had been advising the state on the case and had been working with the state and they called it, the term was "˜litigating amicae,' which I understand is a term that the judge may have made up, I don't know at the time, but they were parties to the case and to that extent -- not parties, but they were amicae. Well, we had these groups, the Michigan United Conservation Club, the lake owners' association, and they were all promoting this so that instead of...result of this and in other states have had to call out the National Guard when they were dealing with this issue when they have really potential dangerous things going on and in Michigan when we got this settlement, everybody realized that it was going to protect the resources and it worked with minor exceptions here and there. I mean there were some tribal members that were upset and there were others. I mean we had some folks just as soon die on the sword, they would just as soon fight and lose rather than negotiate. There was more honor in that. And to me, I look at it, I wasn't worried about my honor or I was worried about that, what I was worried about is the long term. What are our great-great grandchildren going to be doing? And now in Michigan, they're going to be exercising treaty rights."

Ian Record:

"That's a great story and we're seeing more and more of those kind of stories across Indian Country because, I guess, this realization that negotiation, if done right and if done for the right reasons, can bring you much greater outcomes in both in the present and in the future than litigation. Because litigation, even if you win the case, there's this issue of enforcement can be very costly and then there's this issue of litigation begets more litigation. And then, on the flipside though, I mean you have negotiation where it sounds to me like this served as a springboard from improving relations between traditional adversaries, improving relations or perhaps dampening hostilities that had long been there. And, I mean, do you foresee this consent decree as perhaps serving as a springboard for other forms of cooperation in other areas."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, it's important that we sort of keep it alive. One of the things there is from this is there's an annual meeting, executive council, where all of the parties come together to deal with issues. And we have issues; we have issues. We'll have members who push things a little bit. We'll have state game wardens push things the wrong way a little bit and then we'll have to, we have to work through all those things. We'll have disputes about what actually was meant by a sentence and there will be differing views on that and those are things that have to be worked out. But in the process of doing that, we have regular relations; we worked hard and we developed a level of respect for each other and trust that we could achieve, that we were working together on an issue. It wasn't just working against each other. There are times, believe me, out of these...these were tough negotiations, these were not easy. I mean every one of us at the table, every one of the tribes, the state, I mean everybody at the table at some point or another was the one who walked away, and then came back, but everybody got upset. You don't have forty-some people negotiating every three or four or five weeks or two or three days at a time...that takes a long time. So some of those days were long days. We had some 10-12 hour days we were doing this. And so it was tough, but in the end we got something good, and these kind of agreements, building these relationships help because our tribal citizens...I'm a member of Farm Bureau for instance and I look at...we have other people that are members of Trout Unlimited and all the other groups. We have people, lake front owners that are part of lake owners' associations. So our citizens are actually a part of all these other groups with whom we were dealing and we need to strengthen those things. We need to let people know. So now when we do a fish assessments, it's just as common to have the tribes and the state out working doing the assessment fishing on a lake all together because the state's in a budget crunch and so are we, we have our equipment, when we all work together we have enough to do a big job, but just by ourselves none of us really could do that big job all by ourselves. So when we're doing the shock boat and the fish assessing and trying to explain to people that we're not killing the fish, the mortality rate is less than one percent with a shock boat that we have, those are good things and it's good to be working together on this stuff. In the end, what we're doing is we're all working toward similar goals. We aren't always going to agree, but then that's part of governance. In fact, if everybody agreed, that's a little dangerous. You need to have that, a little bit of tension in there to make sure you're doing things right."

Ian Record:

"So you mentioned the hard work that's involved with establishing, cultivating and maintaining these relationships. I'm curious, based upon your extensive experience in this area, what advice would you give to Native nations and leaders for how to build effective, sustainable governmental relationships?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Patience. One of the, probably the biggest thing I learned and one of the things that guided me is that eventually, eventually comes and that you need to work towards things. You need to be willing to work a little piece at a time. You need to have a sort of longer-term vision about where things are. I was out walking the other day on a path, and I was, I was looking up at the mountains and to my detriment, I tripped on something right in front of me. But if you look in front of you all the time, you never see the mountains, you never see the other things around you because you're paying so much attention right in front of you. You have to -- without endangering yourself -- have to be looking up as well as in front of you. I think that that's a part of the whole thing about this patience. You have to have a longer-term vision and the government itself needs to work through and think about those longer-term visions."

Ian Record:

"And doesn't that involve educating citizens because leaders? As you've often said, leaders are transitory, they come and go, and some of these efforts are multi-year, if not multi-decade to get the outcome that you've been seeking at the beginning and doesn't that require, I guess, a certain level of understanding and approval by your own people that this is a priority of the nation?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Yes. I mean, it's really important for people to understand what...like I said in the beginning when we looked at the constitution and I said the constitution is the method by which the people inform their government how they want it to work. The people need to always be aware of and remember that that is what that is and that they...so they need to understand where those things are when you have a constitution that has a focus on international relations. They need to...when you have your budget hearings, there need to be...someone needs to stand up and speak up and support that budget line item that's going to involve some international travel, some travel that needs to be done. When you have...you have to have...people need to be aware of how things work to know how to allocate resources and how to support that or detriment. One of the issues that I see across Indian Country that I think is...it's a big issue and that is that leaders who do a lot of this international work with other tribes or that are working in a basis across the country often are away from home a fair amount and that needs to be supported. But too often people think that those of us who are traveling are wasting tribal resources, that we are out having a good time, that we're enjoying things at the tribe's expense and that there is no need to be doing this anyway. And so when people are traveling often there is quite a pressure or a candidate becomes vulnerable because of being gone and traveling. So you have to balance that domestic program within your nation with the international program and you have to find out how to balance that, but with the people themselves, there needs to be an acceptance. I was recently -- after I had left the chairmanship -- I attended a conference and elected leaders were taking it on the chin pretty high at the conference over the days because most of them...there were very few elected leaders at this conference. It was almost all other folks: individual activists and former elected leaders, but lots of people were very involved in working on environmental issues, but...and so I, towards the end of the conference I got up and set my regular program aside and I said, 'Listen. You've been...you're sort of upset because elected leaders aren't here.' I said, "˜When's the last time you ever thanked your leader for attending a national meeting like this. When the last time you went to a budget hearing and demanded they put more money in there in the line item for travel so that the leaders could afford to go? When's the last time you wrote a letter or stood up and supported this outside external activity at a community meeting or in conversations in your family or things? You need constantly, if you want leaders to do those things, you can't complain because they don't. You need to actually support them when you do, that way it becomes a priority and if that's really the priority for our nations to make sure that we have this balance between domestic programs and international programs.' We have to have a populace that actually understands and supports why that is necessary, and it becomes necessary. Going to Washington, D.C. is critical for leaders because the U.S. Congress passes laws that effect...while they can't, their laws don't limit our tribal sovereignty, they certainly can limit how we exercise our sovereignty. They limit how Health and Human Services can deal with us. They can limit how the justice system deals with us. And so because of that, it's important for us to pay attention to those laws and it's important for us to know what's going on and to have the relationships necessary there that when we speak, we're not going just to build a relationship. We're going and we already are known so that we can carry through on the issues that support us. And there are plenty of people that are going there on a regular basis who are detractors of tribal sovereignty and don't support tribal sovereignty and who want to do everything they can to do away with it or limit it or whatever. And so we have to constantly be on target and work on these things and that's a very important part of that international because we're dealing with tribal nations to the United States, that's an international arrangement. We have to be very careful on how it works. So it's essential to do that kind of stuff. We also have to do that with our state government because a lot of the funding that tribes get comes from federal government, but it's funneled through the states, even though we'd like them to all have set-asides and deal directly with...so that the tribes deal directly with the feds on those things. There's a number of programs that go through the state and the manner in which the state chooses to set up its programs, how they choose to write their programs or write their proposals and their agreements with the feds can limit how they deal with tribes. So you're constantly having to pay attention to that. And you have people who, once again, would be supporters and other people who wouldn't, but for the most part you also have people that just don't know. And so it's constantly our responsibility to make sure that they do. And whatever mechanism, whether it's the tribal leader going or whether there's an ambassador, I think that we could... I think there's a time coming as we're evolving our tribal governments that we're going to actually have people that ambassadorial function may well be through an ambassador at large. Some of the tribes already have these. And I believe that this relationship with the other governments with whom we deal, we need to have staff people that can deal with that. I use an example, the recent arms treaty signed, where the presidents of Russia and the United States were together to sign the treaty. You know that the two of them did not sit down and hammer that treaty out. They had staff that were working for years on this to work together how to deal with it and may have met a couple times to iron out a point or two, but for the most part, their major thing was to have the photo op of them signing it and shaking hands to sign the treaty and that was the top of the executive functions there. And then of course it's got to be ratified, yet. Well, these are...our governments function in the same way. We have those same kind of interplay of things and...but we need to make sure that we have built in the ability to deal with other governments and that it's a very important role for our tribal nations."

Ian Record:

"I wanted to switch gears, one last question before we wrap up this interview, to tribal justice systems and specifically ask you a question about the Odawa Youth Health to Wellness Court, which your tribe established several years ago, which by all accounts has proven quite successful. I'm curious to learn more about why did the tribe establish this program? How is it structured? And how has it benefitted your community?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Well, we clearly have a problem that other communities have, other tribal nations have. As to why we have it, I guess that's another whole other story, but the fact that we actually have this problem with drugs and we have problem with the youth and there are individuals who just don't seem to be able to respond to parental controls and/or other societal controls and end up being in the court system; and the court system is basically a win/lose kind of system. We've tried to develop other systems that are options and this is an option and can be chosen by someone who is before the court, by the youth and this particular thing is based around that wrap around concept where we have staff from a lot of different departments. I think there's 10 different departments, but they are all working with one youth and their parents and all focused on one case. There's responsibilities on all their parts by bringing a multi-disciplinary approach to this wrap around concept we're able to see success with individuals we had not been able to see success with other programs. This has gotten so successful that we have actually had offenders that are before the local county court who they've offered the option of coming to our program and actually people who they didn't have to assign to the program at all, the local judges have sent people to our program and has been because they recognize the success of it. So this is another way of building an intergovernmental relationship, building community relations with various institutions with whom you have to deal in the community."

Ian Record:

"And this, from what I understand, this health to wellness court is not so much focused on punishment, but on restoring health and harmony not only to the individual defender, but also to their family, to their community at large. Is that true?"

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Yes. And I think that that part of the approach, restoring balance is important. And I think that's true in a lot of our programs, that's one of the things we try to focus on. And we have, when you follow our traditional teachings, that whole thing of being in balance is your goal, it's the center, it's what you try to achieve, where you're not at any one extreme. No matter how that extreme may seem, as you move towards that, you're pulling away from being in balance and so something else gets out of balance. So the whole goal is to try to maintain that calm center in order to achieve that. In our traditional ways, that's one of the teachings. And so when we apply those teachings to, trying to apply them to court systems, trying to apply them to our various other social programs, frankly I'm working on how we apply the teachings of the medicine wheel to our budgets. How do we take a budget and determine whether that budget is in balance? And I think that the way we spend our money, the way we allocate our resources, can be just as out of balance as any other thing and it can be symptomatic of we might be having problems in our tribal community that are inexplicable to us. And it could be because the way we're choosing to allocate our resources is out of balance. And so, to me, this is something I'm working on and particularly now that I'm no longer the tribal chair, but I have time to reflect on these things. I want to work on that issue and try to see how that can be, that idea can be furthered."

Ian Record:

"Well Frank, I really appreciate your time today. I've learned quite a bit and I'm sure our listeners and viewers have as well."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"Thank you."

Ian Record:

"Well, that's it for today's program of Leading Native Nations. To learn more about Leading Native Nations, please visit the Native Nations Institute's website: nni.arizona.edu. Thank you for joining us."

Honoring Nations: Using Partnerships to Achieve Governing Goals

Producer
Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Year

Heather Kendall-Miller moderates this panel of Native leaders for a discussion on building and maintaining intergovernmental relationships.

Resource Type
Citation

Anderson, Neily, Theresa Clark, Lori Gutierrez, Heather Kendall-Miller, Mark Lewis, Justin Martin, Mark Sherman, Miranda Warburton, Don Wedll, Cheryl Weixel and Nicholas Zaferatos, "Using Partnerships to Achieve Governing Goals," Honoring Nations symposium. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Sante Fe, New Mexico. February 7, 2002. Presentation.

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"It's my pleasure first of all to be an advisory board member. Coming from Alaska, oftentimes, we have our focus on our specific issues. And it's been so wonderful and so educational for me to be on the advisory board and to learn about all the wonderful things that are happening throughout Indian Country. The first advisory board meeting that I participated in I just walked away totally stunned and wowed because there is incredible stuff happening in Indian Country, as you've been learning these past several days and you've been sharing. So I'm really excited to be here and participate in this because as usual it's been eye-opening in many, many respects. Maybe what we'll do, while Andrew is passing out the name tags, is to offer our panelists an opportunity to introduce themselves and also to talk a little bit about the award-winning program of which they are here representing. And once we each have a chance to introduce ourselves then I'll begin to pose some questions. So why don't we begin over here with you, Justin."

Justin Martin:

"All right. Sorry I was late. Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Justin Martin and I'm with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde where I'm the Intergovernmental Affairs Director, as well as a tribal member. I have a background in public policy and public administration, as well as working as a legislative assistant within the Oregon State legislature. Our program, Enhancing Government-to-Government Relationships deals exactly with that. We have, basically, a five-pronged strategy or approach to that that includes communication, education, cooperation, contributions, political as well as community contributions, and presence. All topics that we all have been sharing over the past couple days and I look forward, again, to sharing some more of that with you and this panel. So thank you very much."

Don Wedll:

"My name is Don Wedll. I'm with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. I've served as the Commissioner of Natural Resources for 18 years and also Commissioner of Education. I'm talking about today partnerships in regards to natural resource activities."

Theresa Clark:

"My name is Theresa Clark. I'm from Galena, Alaska, the Louden Tribe, which is a federally recognized tribe for Galena. Every village in Alaska is a tribe. I run Yukaana Development Corporation, which is a tribally owned business of the Louden Tribe and we've used partnerships extensively in developing our business."

Mark Sherman:

"[Native language] My name is Mark Sherman and I'm the Director of Planning and Development for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa [and] Chippewa Indians. I was really glad that I was chosen to participate in this particular panel discussion because I really believe in partnerships in achieving governing goals. In our department we knew what our mandate was and what our governing goal was. When we got started, we didn't know who our partners were. But the important thing that I wanted to say about our process and how it relates to partnering is that number one, when you have partners you have to start using the word ‘we' instead of ‘I' or singular uses of pronouns. And so it's been a great privilege of mine to develop these partnerships and accomplish our goals. I took inventory last week about some of the things we've accomplished over the last several years and who our partners were. I spent a lot of time analyzing it, categorizing it and listing it in different ways. Finally I came to the realization that there were too many to list, too many to talk about. And so what I wanted to stress today, as we get going further along here and get a chance to talk about our process a little bit, you'll come to understand that what's important is that we developed effective partnerships, not only externally with contractors and consultants and government officials and various other entities, but more importantly we developed an internal partnership with our own membership, with our own government. And these things really set the course and made my job much more fun. Thank you."

Nicholas Zaferatos:

"Hi. I'm Nick Zaferatos and I have the pleasure of working for 20 years with the Swinomish tribal community in Washington State and with Chairman Brian Cladoosby, who asked me to speak today because he had to catch a flight back home because general elections are being held tomorrow. The Swinomish have been involved for about 20 years, almost 20 years now in Principle #4 that was outlined today, which states that a strategic orientation matters. It was concerned with addressing chronic problems on the reservation dealing with the loss of control over the reservation territory that hadn't occurred since allotment days and brought about a lot of interest from outside governments that were making decisions about how the reservation ought to develop and a realization that none of that was benefiting directly the tribal government. So employing, developing a strategy, it looked like it had several ways of approaching that including and primarily regionalism, one of opening up dialogue and relations with a broader region, county, local government, state and us reasserting tribal interests in matters relating to land use control and development. The centerpiece for the project was a land use planning program that was begun in mid 1980s, but it also included all aspects of reservation development, water supply, sewer control, public works and the web of cooperation between the Swinomish Tribe that's been employed through this cooperative program really affects just about every jurisdiction that has an interest in operations in Skagit county. So it's a regionalism approach, it's one that's been tested for about 15 years now and it's still operating."

Miranda Warburton:

"Good afternoon, I'm Miranda Warburton. I work for the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department. I'm the Director of the Flagstaff, Arizona Branch Office of the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department. And I started that little office up in Flagstaff some 15 years ago and I would like to say that first of all it's been a tremendous honor and privilege to work for the Navajo Nation for the past 15 years. And the goal of doing this was to really set up a program to train Navajo students who were interested in cultural preservation, to give them the opportunity to do practical work on the reservation, and to learn more through interviews with Navajo elders, with knowledgeable people, to really be out in the field while they were working on their academic degrees. So our partnership was really between the Navajo Nation and Northern Arizona University. And I would say that the greatest example I can give you of the success of our program is that after 15 years, I'm quitting in October and a woman who is with our program, a Navajo woman, Davina Begay-Two Bears will be taking over. And as I speak, the reason that she's not here is that she's supposed to be turning in her Master's thesis this afternoon. So Davina is a great example of our program and I'm thrilled that I'll be turning it over to her and I'd also like to acknowledge someone else who's here, Reynelda Grant, who is the San Carlos Apache Archaeologist, tribal archaeologist. And Reynelda was part of our program too and that just like is a great feeling to be able to sit here and see Reynelda doing such a great job and speaking so well and setting such a great example. So again another example of what this partnership has done."

Lori Gutierrez:

"Good afternoon. My name is Lori Gutierrez. I'm from Pojoaque Pueblo and I'm the Assistant Director for Pojoaque Pueblo Construction Service Corporation. Our project that was awarded by the Harvard Project was the unique collaboration and partnership between Pojoaque Pueblo Construction Service Corporation, which is a for-profit tribal corporation and the Poeh Center Cultural Center Museum, which is a nonprofit arm of the Pueblo of Pojoaque. And the unique collaboration being that the corporation was first established to not only build the Poeh Center at cost but to, reduce the construction cost, but would do work both on and off the reservation as generating revenues to go back to build the Poeh Center as well as to sustain it through its long term goals. Thank you."

Cheryl Weixel:

"Good afternoon. My name is Cheryl Weixel. I'm the Wellness Center Director for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and it's an honor to be here and it's also an honor to work with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. 10 years ago the Coeur d'Alene area, or the Plummer and Worley area, didn't even have healthcare, hardly any. And even with the non-Indians and the Indians in the area, we had to go 40 miles to get healthcare. So the Coeur d'Alene Tribe partnered up with the city of Plummer and built a medical center and from there they decided to start changing lifestyles and the only way they could do that was to help people with exercise in Spokane, which is 40 miles away. So they saved money from third-party billing, grants, just partnering up with the city of Plummer again, got a HUD grant and built a $5 million debt-free wellness center and hopefully...we've been there four years now and we're changing lifestyles one person at a time and it's a great opportunity to be there and it's just very rewarding."

Neily Anderson:

"Good afternoon. My name is Neily Anderson and I'm here as the chairperson for the White Earth Suicide Intervention Team. I know...when I...I was so honored that we had gotten honors and I went around and was telling my friends and family that we received high honors from Harvard from the Governing Honor of Nations and they're like, ‘But you're a suicide prevention team, what does that have anything to do with Harvard?' And so it was kind of like we had to go through in depth and explain that the team was started by grassroots community members in 1990 and it was developed because there was a very high rash of suicide completions and attempts that year. So what they did was they formed...they did some forums and let the people talk and the tribal council really kind of hung themselves up and sat and listened to what the people had to say. Not just about the suicide attempts or completions, about everything else that was going on as well. And what they did recognize was that something needed to be done and so they signed a resolution stating that we needed a team and developed the team. And the team, like I said, is grassroots and it is community members. So it's not social workers coming in, saying, ‘Well, I'm a social worker and I'm here to help you'. It's, ‘I'm a community member and I care'. And that makes all the difference in a crisis situation and for Native American people. We just recently got a...received a grant and are working on getting some more funding because the team...the WESIT team, the suicide intervention team is a nonprofit organization. There's nobody paid to be on the team. There is 26 on-call volunteers that go every two weeks; there's a different set of three people on call. They go out all hours of the night and volunteer their time. And again, when you're talking about people in crisis or Native American people, knowing that these people are here because they care, not because it's their job to be there, not because they're being paid to be there and they have to be there to maybe please their grant makers or whatever. They're there because they want to be there and that makes the big difference. So as a grassroots organization the people volunteer their time, whether it's night or day, whether it's during work or out of work, and with the tribal R2C behind us 100 percent, we're allowed to leave work. If we get a call and we're on call, we're allowed to leave work and go wherever we have to go to respond to that call. The partnership that we have is mostly with the counties, the police department, the hospitals, facilities subject to our home facilities, things like that. We have partnered up with them basically. They have finally recognized us as a value to them, something...someone that they can use to actually lessen their job. We get a call through the dispatch system just like the police department does; we carry radios and get our call. And when we respond to a call, we basically get the information from the police officer; they make sure the scene is safe when we get there and they kind of turn it over to us. We're not allowed to sign 72 hour holds if that is needed, but the police officers are. And so our doctors as... but they're more willing now to go ahead and sign a 72 hour hold or what has been happening most recently is, they have the information, they know that this person needs a 72 hour hold, but they're calling us to see what our opinion is and same with the hospitals. We get more calls from the hospital where a family member has brought an attempter into the hospital; it's not done through the police department or the ambulance service. The family member brings them into the hospital and the hospital's calling us, they're calling our dispatch. We have a tribal dispatch, they'll call our dispatch and we'll be dispatched out. So it's a real grassroots...it's people who care and that's what I've seen a lot while I've been here is these may be our jobs that we do but they're just an added benefit. We do what we do because we care and that's what I've seen here. You people...the people that I've been surrounded by for the last two days are here because they care, they want to help their people expand, grow and accomplish things that they may not accomplish on their own and that's the job that they have. It's not that they're politicians, it's not that they're a tribal council member, they're there because they care and that's how I see you people here and the people that we have on call on our team."

Mark Lewis:

"Good afternoon. My name is Mark Lewis. I'm from the Hopi Tribe and I'm from the Third Mesa area, Hotevilla Village on the Third Mesa area. I am pleased to see a couple Hopis. [Native language] I'm an eagle clan so I wanted to say that since there's a couple Hopis in the audience. My mind's really spinning now because I had an introduction that I was going to do but I'm kind of worried about how it may come out after listening to Neily. I'm really concerned so if you bear with me I'm kind of going to tinker with it and I'm not meaning to offend anybody, but this is really how I was thinking I was going to introduce this. I was going to just make a remark that I'm in a rather unique situation here today because I've been asked to be on this panel as the...representing the Hopi High School. And as I was introduced they have Mark Lewis, the Hopi Guidance Center, and that is my job; I'm the Director of Behavioral Health and Social Services. And so given that I was going to make kind of a quick joke that I was relieved that I was introduced as representing the Hopi Guidance Center because I would feel much more comfortable speaking about the Hopi Guidance Center, but I'm not here to speak about that. I'm here to speak about Hopi Junior/Senior High School. The problem with that is I've only been...I've been elected to school board and I'm only on my third week and the reason I'm up here is because some of our more senior veteran board members were just unable to make it to Santa Fe today. And so what I'm a little nervous with my new friend here is I was just going to kind of make a remark that I am a professional social worker, I have my undergraduate and master's both in social work. I'm very proud of that and I was going to also say that I was thinking of the lady from Minnesota who I know very well, some of the negative perceptions of social workers throughout history. I was going to say I'm very proud to be a social worker and so should you and we should never not feel proud about being a social worker. But also I'm nervous too because I've just been elected to school board and that's very political in Hopi and I've been accused of being a politician. So I'm both now a politician and a social worker, but I'm also a community member and I do really care. So anyhow, the good thing going, my strategy was to...I was really relieved. I was excited coming here; this is my very first school board trip. I was really excited to come and meet new people, new professionals in other disciplines such as yourselves and then...but I got a call this morning around 8:00 from Mr. Glenn Gilman who you'll be hearing from shortly. He's our junior high principal, a very good, wonderful junior high principal. And he says, ‘Hey, just want to let you know that you're on a panel this afternoon and you're going to talk about 2+2+2'. And I says, ‘Well, that's because our board member called in late and was not able to make it', so that just kind of added to the excitement and nervousness I had about meeting a new flock of people. But as soon as I came in I saw Dr. Stephen Cornell and my colleague and friend Cecelia Belone of the Navajo Nation, my colleague, counterpart, and friend from the Navajo Nation, who I work a lot with in social services area. I also work with Dr. Stephen Cornell in the areas around TANF reauthorization, nation building etc. So I'll focus on you so I'm not as nervous talking about 2+2+2 at Hopi Junior/Senior High School. So I'm glad that you sat right there. I feel much more comfortable. I'll just pretend I'm talking about social services issues and maybe I won't sweat so much on my folder. 2+2+2 essentially it is partnership, it is partnership between three academic institutions, Hopi High, community college, Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University and it was a partnership from the get go and I can talk more about that as we move on but it was genuinely a partnership from the get go in an effort to achieve one governing goal, one of the many governing goals that I know that we are working on. I'm learning more about the board and that was to try and do what we can to improve and prepare young students for academia beyond high school by giving them a boost while they're still in high school. And I can talk more about that but I don't need to get in too much detail because Mr. Glenn Gilman will be telling you more about that true partnership between community college, university and Hopi High. So again, thank you very much for allowing or asking me to be up here and allowing me to be up here."

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"Thank you, panelists for those introductions. Partnerships; each of you have given us examples of the partnerships that your tribal governments have formed in the process of implementing your vision. What interests me is, in some cases, some of you have been forced to develop effective partnerships and relationships with state and county governments, even federal government, and as Lance so articulately told us, we all as tribal people have experienced the hostility that is oftentimes focused on tribal governments by state and county governments. Given that history of hostility, how do you begin to build an effective relationship with an agency or another government? Justin, you want to begin again?"

Justin Martin:

"Sure. Well, I think that there are several layers to partnerships and as we heard from the panel, there are many wonderful partnerships on many different levels. When starting to work with what can sometimes be seen as hostile governments or governments that one, do not have an understanding of Native peoples or even tribal governments, I think it's very important and very critical to first of all understand their government, understand where the government that you're looking to work with is coming from. Whereas, we want folks to understand and respect tribal government and to learn how we elect our officials, how we operate our communities and governments, we should also make an effort to one, understand where they are coming from. And then I think it steps back even further and it looks to the personal level. Let's start to build some personal relationships while we are educating them to how our tribal government and how our people operate and conduct themselves. And that can be handled in many, many ways, but I think once you do that, once you get to know people, once you put your face with your name that's on your business card or the name that is seen in the newspaper or even your tribal newspapers, people start to understand where you're coming from. So it's basically a very basic relationship, find out who the people are, what makes them tick, even if it's outside of what you're both working towards. If you can find some common ground or a common goal, you can start to nurture that relationship. One other important point, I was talking to some folks earlier in the day, I think is, don't expect to make those top level relationships the ones that really get the job done at the end of the day. And I want to say this without offending tribal leadership and I've been very blessed to work with Kathryn Harrison and our tribal council who gets this. Those top level relationships need to happen out of mutual respect for a tribal government or a state government or a federal government, but at the same time, the ones doing the ground work, the ones trying to understand the tribal issues, and the ones that are going to be dealing with you on a day-to-day basis are the staff. And I think it's critical to involve staff at all levels. And from my own personal experience in working at the state legislature, I can't tell you how many times my state representative, who was new at the time, outside of his expertise area would call me as a staffer into his office and say, ‘Justin, what are we going to do?' Those are the people with the vote. So if you get to that staff member, create that relationship at those lower levels, then you begin to work up into the upper levels. Again, those are the solid foundation relationships. And who knows? I think in a lot of time within the tribal system and within state government and federal government, a lot of time that staff moves on to be that elected official or that leader. So to begin to lay that ground work in educating people to your government and also learning and being able to understand their government and where they're coming from is certainly an excellent tool that I feel needs to be utilized in every day relationships."

Don Wedll:

"Maybe to follow on that a little bit, one of the things that we saw that was very effective in negotiations and partnerships is that if you eat with someone, have lunch with them, it makes it much harder to fight with them a little bit later. You actually get to see them in a little different light than if you're in trying to negotiate and ultimately where you want to, after you've settled negotiations and you start building that partnership, a meal, that type of thing, is a very effective way to bring about a good partnership, get to know people on a very personal level and be able to discuss things and have trust in people that what they're committing to and the partnership that you're developing will grow and create a good forum for the types of things that you are working on. So that's my suggestions."

Theresa Clark:

"Yukaana itself does not have inter-government relationships. Our owner, Louden Tribal Council does. We separated government, politics and business so our partnerships, Yukaana's partnerships are business partnerships, whereas the government, inter-governmental relationships are left to the tribe or the politics are left to the tribe. I can go further on that, but I'd much rather let Louden tribal council do that because that's politics.

Mark Sherman:

"In our planning department we have forged a number of partnerships with county and township governments, worked a little bit with some state officials. We'd like to do a little bit more in that respect. Our relationship with our state government needs some improving. We've reached out to them on a number of times for a number of different reasons and for some reason, we have a situation where they prefer to minimize or should I say minimize that acceptance or recognition of the fact that we do exist. I think as the future goes forward that this will improve. It's got to come to a place where both sides have some common goals to work on. It's not always an adversarial situation and if it is an adversarial situation, you can usually accomplish more by searching for things that are...that you have in common rather than focusing on those points that are controversial. I found from my own experience in dealing with non-tribal government officials it's always better to listen than to talk. And if you hear something you don't like, you're better off rather than to argue the point, rather just to repeat the point, let them hear how ridiculous it sounds. It's not all give and take. Sometimes tribal governments have to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘This is our position'. And we've had to do that a few times too. Once they understand your position, whether they agree or disagree, they come away from the experience with a lot more respect for your organization having a clear understanding of why you made your position and why there's no room for compromise. And so you have to use every arrow in your quiver, you can't just go with one standard approach."

Nick Zaferatos:

"I think for Swinomish cooperation was a result that began by using confrontative tactics. That is, with the tribe being in business, as usual that was carried out for a really long time by county or other governments in making decisions on the reservation and where the tribe asserted its interest. And when that occurred there was a reaction and the reaction was the status quo was being disrupted and there were kind of two paths to consider. One was a path of conflict, litigation, problems, costs. And the other was a better understanding of what's the root of the change in course, talking, education, lots of education and a need for some kind of mutual benefit because cooperation does require a commitment of resources of time and money and people to engage in that. And when there's a perception that there is something to gain, I think that's almost always necessary in order to get the commitment both on the tribe's part as well as the government. The tribe entered into about a dozen separate agreements over the course of about 15 or 16 years with almost all of them the same kind of situation was presented where the tribe saw to disrupt business as usual and assert some kind of an interest and a receptiveness on the part of the other governments to at least begin discussing ways of cooperation, mutual gain. With all of them, it was formalized politically in terms of entering into some kind of an agreement, which then allowed the business of government to take place, which is almost always on a staff level on a day-to-day basis. And that's when the culture of cooperation really starts to take place. When you start dealing with lots of little itty bitty issues on a regular basis and you solve problems, it leads towards developing a more positive culture or at least more faith in working together to resolve problems. Sometimes political meetings are necessary, sometimes even litigation is necessary, and Swinomish has been more recently involved with some litigation, which the tribe views as okay because after you've exhausted the time of talking and trying to work things together through things at the staff level or even at the policy level, some things just really can't be agreed to and that's after all what the courts are all about. But even despite litigation from time to time, most issues with respect to land use development affecting the reservation do take place on a day-to-day basis, mostly in an administrative bubble, sometimes at a policy level. But there is an overall perception that there's a mutual gain in the long term by investing and keeping the doors of communication open, and in the process of doing that there's an awful lot of learning when the tribe understands the culture of the county or local governments and those governments understand a lot more about what the interests of the tribes are. And what we found is that the visions between those two governments were really not that far off and in fact, we were able to be brought together into like a unified land use policy. So there really wasn't a difference in terms of the vision."

Miranda Warburton:

"In our program we're really talking about a partnership between the Navajo Nation and Northern Arizona University and so there are some differences, it's not city or state governments. But I wanted to say a couple of things in that regard and first of all, to my colleague from Hopi, that if there's anything worse than a social worker politician, it's an Anglo anthropologist working for a tribe. So I kind of felt like I had this real uphill battle, but I think that there are a lot of people within the Navajo Nation who would like to see people like me replaced and I wanted to see people like me replaced as well. So in order to do that, in order to have an effective program, I felt that there really had to be a tremendous amount of cooperation between the Navajo Nation and Northern Arizona University. And I would just sort of reiterate some of the things that other people have already said. One, the long haul; people have to know you're there for the long haul. It's taken 15 years I think for me to feel like this program is really a success. I have three students who are getting master's degrees this year who I think all are going to go on to great things, but people have to know both within the tribe and at Northern Arizona University that you are there for the long haul and that there is a real commitment, that you really do care, and that if things get rough you're ‘not just going to sort of run away and abandon the whole thing; that you really are there and you really care about it and you really mean it. And I think what you just said about something to gain. I mean, NAU doesn't really care about our program, and this is like being the most sort of practical reality based statement but it brings in Native American students. So if I can convince them that it's worth having this program to recruit Native American students for their head count, they'll realize they have something to gain. The Navajo Nation definitely has something to gain because Navajo students are getting degrees, undergraduate and graduate degrees and anthropology or other social sciences and in many cases are returning to the tribe or to work for them or if they're not coming back to work for the tribe, they're going off into other places and setting a really good example. So the whole idea of something to gain and I think a personal commitment to being there for the long haul makes all the difference in effective partnerships."

Lori Gutierrez:

"We at Pojoaque Pueblo Construction, we have agreements with large business for outside business opportunities and I remember when we first started negotiations, there was extensive negotiations when dealing with sovereign immunity. Large business did not know structures especially dealing with small entities like Pojoaque Pueblo, with tribal enrollment of 320. It was really difficult to explain to them how you go about it. It turned out that they ended up hiring an Indian attorney so that they could get a better grasp about a tribal nation. But I think in order for a partnership to flourish or even to have longevity and continuity, it's important that during this time that there's mutual benefit because without that mutual benefit it doesn't exist. But I think it's important that during these negotiations that you keep in mind what that mutual benefit is and use that as your focus because I know that during these extensive negotiations we would get off on that and it was always a constant reminder to keep going back to what it is that we were doing this partnership for."

Chery Weixel:

"I think what was an important aspect to the medical center, Benewah Medical Center, and also the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Wellness Center came afterwards, was the fact that both there was a need out there and then there's a common vision. Everybody needed healthcare in the area so they brought the partners in, they utilized each other's strengths and built from there and then they took the weaknesses and built them up. And in that they had a vision and that is a better healthcare for the whole area and also a chance to change the future generations and provide fitness and exercise for the young kids so that they'll want to be healthy and they'll hopefully one day rid diabetes and heart disease from that area or at least control it. So I think if I go back, I think this strikes on the weaknesses and a common vision and a common goal is really what we needed. And today I can say that just from people telling me stories from the past that when they decided to build the medical center, they had the Indians and the non-Indians saying, ‘No way will I go in that building with an Indian', or ‘No way will I be in there with a White person'. And I can honestly say today that side-by-side there's Indians and non-Indians working together, playing together, sitting side-by-side in the waiting room together and actually talking and communicating for the first time, which I think is a tremendous accomplishment, especially in that area."

Neily Anderson:

"First off I've got to get some things straight here. Being the chairperson on the team isn't my job. I'm also a social worker. But the team...when the team started, we started out with a goal. We weren't quite sure how to get to that goal. We knew what we wanted to do, we knew we had to do something and we knew that we had to do it now and that was kind of what we looked at. And so going in we...the only thing that we had that could link us to any attempts that maybe the police department had or any calls that the police department had about attempts or completions or whatever the case may be was our tribal dispatch. That was our only link at the time when we started. And we're going on 12 years now and we used to meet in the back of a restaurant, a local little restaurant and talk about what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. And it was there that we realized that we needed to partner up with some people. We need to start going out and doing some in services and letting some people know what we were going to do. So we started going out to the hospitals and letting them know that, ‘this is where we're at, this is where we want to be in a year, can you help us get there? These are the people that we have on board. These are the caring people that we feel the community members will react to.' So it was the hospitals that we went to first and it was...it took years, it took years. And we're going on 12 years now and I would say in the last four years we've finally got...we still don't have 100 percent backing from other specific agencies, but in the last four years we've got...our policy is to, if Menominee County Police Department has a call, they call the tribal dispatch. Well, they know where I work so they were kind of skipping around things and calling me right at work. And the reason we had that policy was so that when we went out on a call it was the same for them. I have a radio, they have a radio. Our radios are our lifeline and if something was to happen to me, my dispatcher knows where I was, what I was doing. So next it took the police department. We were showing up at calls, the police department was looking at us like, ‘What are you doing here? You're interfering with the law.' We got a lot of that and so it took a lot of in services with the police department to say, ‘We can help you. We can work side-by-side. I'm not here to do your job. I'm here to help you make the situation better for a family', because with a police officer coming in and saying, ‘Okay, we're taking these people, we're putting them on a 72 hour hold', they never really took a look at how that affected the people that were left behind. So the next thing that we did was we went to other agencies, tribal and non-tribal, our tribal mental health programs and the non-tribal mental health programs, because we figured, ‘okay, we've got this person that's attempted suicide.' Now if they were to call and try and get an appointment, a lot of times the mental health field, to get an appointment it's really backed up. So what we would do then is, ‘Okay, I can get you an appointment tomorrow. I can make sure that you have transportation to get there. Is this what you want?' And so it got...now it's to the point where all I have to do is to make a phone call or another team member...all we have to do is to make a phone call and we can get that client some services immediately instead of having to wait two or three weeks down the road. The schools, we also work with because when, with the adolescence and the rate of suicide that we had at the time... In 1990 when we started, we were 50 percent lower, 10 percent, excuse me; we were 10 percent higher than the national suicide rate nationally but we were also 8.5 percent higher than the Native American rate normally was. So on our reservation we had a big problem. So in the schools when we had adolescents attempting or being placed on 72 hour hold, the parents not wanting to give up information when the school calls and says, ‘Where's your kid? Your kid isn't in school. Your child isn't in school. They're truant, they're tardy. What's the situation?' Then the parents really having a problem telling the school system that, ‘My child is on a 72 hour hold,' without the school system or without the family members feeling that the school system is looking down on them. ‘Oh, you must be bad parents if this is what's happening to your children.' So those were some other partners. The main partner that we have that we rely on is the tribal council backing us 100 percent in whatever direction we go, whether it be...like with the grant, we just applied for a grant. We just, before I left, we just got word that we had received the grant. We have received the grant, now we have to go forward with that. So it's the tribal council that has backed us and said, ‘run with it'. They have opened their arms and realized the fact that this is something that they cannot fix as a tribal council member. This is something that the community has to help themselves to do and with a little bit of organization. So with those things, those partners we would not be able to be a team, we would not be able to work as a team and that's why we come up with the name Suicide Intervention Team because it takes more than one person to fix the things that are going wrong with our people. It's a team effort whether it be...when I say the Suicide Intervention Team, I mean not just the people that are on call that go out there in the middle of the night, not the people that have to leave their jobs or get up from the table during dinner because they've got a call from dispatch, I also mean the police department, the mental health services, the hospitals, the tribal council, the schools. They're our team and we all have to work together as a team or else we will not exist. That's plain a simple. It took us a lot of years to establish that team but it was something that we realized right away that needed to be done. That was one of the things that we worked on right away and with our patients and I think what really kicked it off was we were there. When there was a call, we were there, somebody showed up. Whoever was on call took the call and that's what I feel really made the difference. It wasn't, ‘Well, I'm eating dinner right now', or ‘I'm sleeping and I've only been sleeping for a half hour and I don't want to get out of bed to go on this call', ‘I don't want to get up from dinner and skip dinner because I have a call. We got a call, we went out. It didn't matter what we were doing, who we were with. We took that responsibility when it was our turn to be on call, that was the responsibility that we took and not because that's our job. It was because we care about the people, about our people and what they are doing with their lives."

Mark Lewis:

"As for the Hopi High 2+2+2 program, you're going to learn that it is a partnership between a community college and Northern Arizona University. It involves interactive television; it involves a new satellite campus being built on the Hopi High school grounds and facilities. And what that really means is that...that meant that the Hopi High took the initiative to work with the state systems and other systems in order to be able to develop this program for the future needs of our kids and for the current development of those kids so that they can achieve success academic-wise in the math and sciences after they leave high school. And what I've observed and what I've noticed and in talking with my colleagues that I've worked with, I think that approaching a hostile government if you want to call it that, there's a lot of leadership that's involved with that, approaching that kind of a situation. I think in the case of Hopi High I think you had some real important dynamics that happened there. One of them, the board was made up of very experienced leaders within the Hopi Tribe in a variety of areas and it was also headed by former chairman of the Hopi Tribe, Ivan Sidney. So I think already Hopi High was in an advantageous position because there was already influences and relationships that had been established by that board. And so that leadership didn't think twice about worrying about government. They had already experienced working with these people, had already relationships established with these people and all they really did is capitalize on that, but that takes leadership and initiative. And so I think that that's one of the ways that Hopi High was successful in developing this 2+2+2 program, and as well from the former governing board, I think a lot of credit goes to them for being very proactive and for being very interested in taking the initiative to do things to improve upon Hopi High. One of the main things they did there is to get away from the Bureau and move into a grant school. And after that it was by rather than just, as somebody mentioned earlier today, by just kind of continuing to operate things as usual as the way the Bureau and as the way IHS has taught us, they weren't going to...they weren't satisfied with that. So they were very proactive and they went and developed an administration. Glenn Gilman is a wonderful example of somebody who had many years teaching and worked on his own principal-ship and those things were allowed to be developed because of the leadership of that board and being proactive and outreaching and going to get good administrators rather than just doing things as usual, doing an advertisement and selecting from whoever shows up at the door. So I think those are the kinds of things that are under...the underpinnings of the ability of the high school to be able to successfully develop partnerships with the state system. In my own experience, as an administrator, we are involved in a number of intergovernmental agreements with the State of Arizona, with entities that are regulated by the State of Arizona and without a doubt we have to work with the federal government as contractors of the federal government. And so my view about that is that...and part of it's probably just being a young administrator. You're allowed to be kind of stupid and risky and my view is to kind of approach these situations as not even thinking that I'm dealing with a hostile government or a resistant other entity, but rather expending more energy and time thinking about how can I best establish the rapport with these people because we need to get something accomplished. So that's been one of my experiences as far as developing partnerships is expending more energy on finding creative ways and skillfully and thinking strategically like the gentleman from Winnebago about how I'm going to make this thing happen, what can I do to make the relationship develop but also too having a little...enough savvy to say, ‘Well, what do I do if they're not resistant', and that's just a matter of holding people accountable. And so those are some of the ways that I think that you develop good partnerships with people is you're going in knowing that your mission is to produce a result, not to be expending so much energy on worrying about how hostile they are or how much they may not want to work with you or whatever. And the lady...the presentation at lunch brings up a very good point because I think that if we continue to see governments as hostile or if we continue to see states as ‘us vs. them,' if we continue to see and feel and believe that we're not respected, then that's how we're going to approach these situations. And oftentimes what happens is we just simply do not approach that situation, but if we're more proactive, if we feel and believe ourselves as equal partners, if we truly believe in and embrace sovereignty, I think that's how you're going to be successful in developing the kinds of partnerships that we're talking about here today."

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"Thanks. Well, listening to you I'm struck by the similarity of things that each of you have shared with us. It's obvious that in the work that goes into building relationships and building partnerships. There's obviously some core characteristics. I hear building personal relationships and the importance of those personal relationships. Communication, open communication both ways; communicating to others about tribes, tribal governments and then being open and listening to being educated about the needs and concerns of other agencies, state governments, counties or whatever. There was also lots of emphasis on common goals and finding ways of building upon what are going to be mutual benefits. That seemed to be fairly critical in establishing relationships and partnerships. Joint problem-solving; that was interesting that once those relationships are made that it takes an evolution of actually sharing in partnering in solving problems; education, respect, common goals, personal relationships. We've only got about five to 10 minutes left and so I'm going to ask you to keep your final comments fairly short but I'm intrigued about now that you have built these relationships, now that you've worked at establishing these partnerships, how do you maintain them? Do they become institutionalized? Do they become static or are they fluid? Do the relationships change as the tribal council changes? How does the continuity of these relationships continue? Again, I'm sorry to suggest that maybe you keep your comments within two to three minutes each and then we can quickly wrap this up, thanks. Go ahead, Justin."

Justin Martin:

"I think you kind of hit the key concept right on the head when you said institutionalize. And I think everybody here has worked very hard to institutionalize their program, especially once you find that vision or that clearly defined objective and you're able to go out and in a grassroots type of method start to educate staff, general public, your own membership as to what good governance is all about, then you start to institutionalize that. So then it becomes Grand Ronde, not Justin Marin. And then five years from now, what if Justin Martin or what if Neily Anderson isn't in that role? Well, the program has been built over time by grassroots through education, through communication, through cooperation and it becomes an entity in and of itself and I think the key is institutionalizing these programs so they do co-exist with that long term vision the tribal council can provide.

Don Wedll:

"In Mille Lacs's particular case with...ultimately our agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources was institutionalized through a number of things, court rulings and ultimately the setting up of schedules of annual meetings usually in January and July to re-discuss where things are at, set limits, and then there's actually some physical things that are happening as to what are safe harvesting of particular resources, those types of things then drive the partnership because neither side can arbitrarily make a decision on their own, they have to do it jointly. And so those are some examples in our particular case and how that partnership gets institutionalized and because of the physical harvesting of resources, there needs to be joint decisions about the amount of those resources that can be harvested and that I think binds that partnership and will bind it for as long as people are harvesting those resources."

Theresa Clark:

"Our partnerships are a little different because they're business partnerships and our business partnerships are through like joint venture relationships or teaming relationships and other businesses that have gotten us to where we are today. So I think ours are probably more short term. We partner on projects, completed the projects, and then the joint ventures are terminated or dissolved because the contracts have been completed. But we do maintain relationships with them, personal contacts or whatever for future projects. We may not be capable of doing a project or may not have the financial resources or whatever and we may be able to partner again in the future so we do...I do keep in contact with all our business partners that we have terminated joint ventures with."

Mark Sherman:

"Maintaining our relationships? The simple answer is we have to sort out our relationships and keep them differently. We do a lot of our work through contracting sources when it comes time to actually implementing the plan and one thing that has worked very well for us in our department is that when a contractor knows that we're releasing a plan for bid, they know that they'll be treated the same way they were the last time and the process is consistent in its fairness and that it's de-politicized and that all players in the process have equal opportunity at the table and that's essential in dealing with outside business entities because they will only play the political game one time and then you get a reputation in the neighborhood so to speak and so it's a good idea to maintain a sense of consistency and fairness. And then we try to reinforce our relationships, the ones that really matter as we go along you have certain partners that become more essential to your process and maintaining a frequent relationship and just not taking day-to-day matters for granted or assuming that everything is going to be smooth. Don't be afraid to just pick up the phone and call them even on problems that require simple answers because when you're calling them and they're calling you, that reinforces the relationship and makes them feel like there's a good reason to maintain an ongoing relationship in the future."

Nicholas Zaferatos:

"The agreement-making and relationship-building activities are part of this first generation experience for changing a hostile environment into a cooperative environment. I think that our honorable speaker from Hopi really expressed it very well by saying that the next generation should just simply come to expect that we operate in a cooperative environment and that's an ideal state that all of this work that we're mining right now will take us to, that this is the preferred status quo, this is the way people behave and nations behave and governments behave."

Miranda Warburton:

‘I agree. I guess in our case what I would like to say is that it was a long struggle to become "institutionalized," to develop some kind of institutional standing so that now we actually have a place, a space, physical space, at Northern Arizona University and we actually have funding from the Navajo Nation for our students. But once that's in place, as I see myself stepping down on October 31st and Davina [Begay-] Two Bears taking over, there's a certain amount of training for her that she needs to do but way beyond that, I just hope that whatever my vision was is done and that her vision, whatever she chooses to have happen, to make it become a truly Navajo program that that really happens and that that just really evolves in a wonderful way and I have every confidence that it will. So while the structure and framework is there in an institutional sense, whatever she chooses to have happen and whatever the next person who takes over after her chooses to have happen and how that evolves and I hope that none of us can envision what that's going to be. I hope that it just exceeds all of our expectations."

Lori Gutierrez:

"Maintaining our relationships, our established partnerships; we have concrete contracts in place. However, times change, our business changes, our needs change and I think it requires a constant evaluation of the partnership, evolving the partnership, making modifications, if necessary, to adapt to new needs and concerns."

Cheryl Weixel:

"Well, it's like any relationship with the special businesses that we keep the lines of communication open. I think that's very important for us and then also, not assuming something that we don't know from the other person. Ask those questions, get the facts and then make decisions based on that."

Neily Anderson:

"Well, with us and the team, to talk about suicide on our reservation was something that was thrown in our face, it was something that was chronic there, something we couldn't get away from. On other reservations, I've talked to several different reservations who want to start up a team on their reservation, and on other reservations this is something that is hush-hush, this is something that you don't talk about. Well, on our reservation, with the attempts and everybody being open about the attempts, about the completions, about the ideations, everybody who sits on the tribal council or sits on the team is or is in some way affected by somebody either completing suicide or attempting suicide. So everybody has been affected by it in one way or another. Even if the WESIT team or if WESIT was gone, I don't think that the people would settle with that. I think if I was gone, if the people who are on the team as on call members were gone, I think that the community would pick it up and run with it. We do have a resolution in place stating that this is the team and this is...we're going to keep this running one way or another, but even if we didn't have that, I don't think the people on our reservation would self-manage."

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"Mark, the last word?"

Mark Lewis:

"That's a tough one. I just started these relationships. I haven't had enough experience yet to maintain them. No. As a social worker and as a social work administrator but I actually began my career as a mental health provider for Hopi. And so one thing that I've learned, and also as a member of the Hopi Tribe, one thing I've learned is that collaboration, which is needed, a prerequisite for partnerships, it's a very profound word, it's a very strong word, it's embedded in our Hopi values that we teach. But as a mental health provider I've learned something that it's...the word is profound but to actually apply it and practice it is very difficult. It's not an easy thing; it doesn't just come natural for everybody to collaborate successfully. And what I mean as a mental health provider, I think that there's a mindset that goes with that. I think there's a condition that goes with collaboration, an ability to approach things to produce an outcome, ability to approach things healthy, healthy-minded and the skills necessary to collaborate successfully is a result of development, a fully or better, best developed kind of individual and people can be trained of course to be successful at collaboration. So I guess to maintain partnerships to me is to have...is to hopefully ensure you have good leadership that will continue to produce people that have that great unique skill of being successful collaborators and to ensure that those people are in those positions that make those decisions to maintain those partnerships. So that's the one thing I would say and as this conference notes here, leadership of course isn't something that is new, certainly not to Harvard, but I'm pleased that it's beginning to come in and infiltrate, if you will, Indian Country. Because I think that in this new world we have a lot of knowledgeable and intelligent people, but leadership skills, that's something that is...can require a lot of training and, at least for my tribe and I would bet for your tribe, is that we need to develop the leadership qualities in our tribal leaders because they're knowledgeable and intelligent, but to be an effective leader requires high level skills in practice. And so that's what needs to continue to happen and continue to develop in Indian Country. And I hopefully won't say anything more but as a tribal administrator, as a chairperson on several committees and now...I do this when I take my staff or a group or a team of Hopis to different meetings or symposiums but certainly without a doubt as a governing board member now it's very important that I support those people that do that work. And I do this with tribal administrators but I just wanted to be able to recognize the Hopi staff that really do 2+2+2 that have come along here; Glenn Gilman, you're going to see him in a moment, a wonderful speaker so he tells me, and Mr. Stan Bindell, one of the wonderful faculty you've seen around with a camera way in the back, he's...it's great to have a local reporter as well. He's a faculty member but also does a lot of work for the local newspapers and it's very important for Hopi for him to be able to come back and share this event with Hopi, the Hopi public and Stan's responsible for that. I'm very pleased also because what this is about is now you have these people like us jabbering but the people who actually do the work, that doesn't get enough attention. And Mr. David Logan who just walked in here, he's actually one of the teachers in the 2+2+2 program, if you can just kind of raise your hand. And we should be paying attention to these people so I just wanted to show my support as a governing board member. Thank you."

Heather Kendall-Miller:

"All right, thank you very much. Unfortunately, we do not have time for questions. We are out of time and we nee dto move on with the next speaker. So I want to thank all of our panelists very, very much for sharing with us your experiences and your insights. Thank you."

From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "What Successful Intergovernmental Relationships Require"

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Native leaders explain the importance of Native nations building their capacity to effectively engage in the development and maintenance of intergovernmental relationships with other sovereign governments, stressing that doing so is a critical component of the full exercise of tribal sovereignty. 

Native Nations
Citation

Ettawageshik, Frank. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. April 13, 2010. Interview.

Killer, Kevin. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Rapid City, South Dakota. May 24, 2010. Interview.

Marquez, Deron. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. March 26, 2009. Interview.

McCoy, John. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Cambridge, Massachusetts. September 18, 2009. Interview.

Penney, Sam. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. August 20, 2010. Interview.

Sampsel, Roy. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. August 31, 2010. Interview.

Vizenor, Erma. "Engaging the Nation's Citizens and Effecting Change: Stories from Indian Country." Emerging Leaders seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. March 25, 2010. Presentation.

 

Erma Vizenor:

"We have to function outside of our reservation and our tribe. We have to deal with companies. We have to deal with the federal government. We have to deal with the states. And so we have to have structures and institutions that empower us so that we are never taken advantage of again."

Frank Ettawageshik:

"When you acknowledge that sovereignty in yourself and in others, then you have to exercise or negotiate that sovereignty with your neighbors. So what I think is here is that you're constantly working with those other sovereigns, but you need to figure out how to decide who you're dealing with and who you aren't. And so the most basic way of that is that if somebody else acknowledges you, well you can acknowledge them, but you have to have some sort of a process for that. What this clause in our constitution does is it establishes a basis for some office, or staff person, or somebody that would be akin to a state department, for instance, where there is an international relations office that deals with negotiations with other sovereigns and those types of things."

John McCoy:

"My advice to them all is to create a governmental affairs office, where these folks just work on policy, that they work with state legislatures, with county governments, with other city governments. Because you need to touch them all, because they pass laws that infringe on the tribal sovereignty. So you need to be there to educate them so that they modify their law to where it does no harm to the tribal sovereignty. They're not doing -- my personal opinion -- 99 percent of them, of these laws that infringe on tribal sovereignty, is done out of ignorance not maliciousness. It's out of ignorance. Once you inform them, educate them on the issue, then they adjust their language to where they do no harm. So they need to be at the city level, the county level, the state level, and we've always done the federal level."

Roy Sampsel:

"A part of the strength of tribal governments and tribal nation building is the capacity of that nation to perform seriously for its broader community, and for the lands, and for that seven generations, for that future. So the strength of these is to deal with them in not a casual manner but a serious manner, and to do it in such a way that you're asking the same standards that you're applying to your nation and to your government to be the means by which other governments are entering into those agreements with you. It does not do any good to say, 'Gee, I wish that our state had a better system by which people could know about Indian people and Indian tribes.' A wonderful sort of sentiment, but where's the commitment to do that? Are you going to encourage curriculum development? If curriculum is developed, is it going to get into the school systems? In other words, it's not the recognition of either the problem and/or the opportunity, it's the commitment over time to make that work."

Deron Marquez:

"Well it was once said that, 'How do you know you're a nation?' Well the answer to that was you're recognized by another nation. And so you need to forge those gaps, be it cities, counties, states or federal government, or even foreign nations. We've had visitors from China come in and visit our reservation and talk with us. Those are the things that I think nation-building leaders tackle. And while doing so, I think it's very critical when they're out there doing that, they're not just representing your nation. You're representing all nations and to act accordingly, but have the understanding that what you do -- you're authentic voice, is what I always say -- still resonates from your community and your people."

Sam Penney:

"I think first of all we need to educate ourselves and to know exactly what those other entities do and what their purpose and function and mission is. I think that's very important for a tribal leader to understand that. Then I think secondly, going out on the national state and local level and being present to represent your tribe is important as well. And I think thirdly, just continuing that dialogue with various people you meet throughout your travels. I've often found that most of the long-lasting friendships and relationships that I have is talking with people informally. May not even be during the actual meeting, it's either out in the hallway or at a luncheon, or something like that. That's where you get the one-on-one and build that personal relationship that goes a long ways and building that trust between yourself and other individuals that you're going to be working with."

Kevin Killer:

"Understand that you're coming into this with a different frame of mind, a different set of experiences than somebody else who grew up in a different part of the state who may have never have had contact with Native communities. And really empathize with that mindset because if you don't, if you hold on to what you believe in, and the other side holds on to what they believe in, then there's going to be no workability, I guess. And so if you can't work beyond what you believe or what you think you know is true, then there's going to be no compromise. There's going to be no solutions... That's the thing that I would encourage all tribal leaders to remember, is that there's always something that we can look at. We can agree on something, something that needs to be improved, especially if we're committed in this for future generations and the future of our nations, whether that's a statehood, or whether that's a Native nationhood, or [the] federal government. We're all in this together, and ensuring that that never leaves the room is that we're all in this together. So how are we going to work for everybody in the future?"

From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "The Benefits of Intergovernmental Relations"

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Former Nez Perce Tribal Treasurer Jaime Pinkham discusses the concrete benefits of engaging in intergovernmental relations for Native nations.

People
Native Nations
Citation

Pinkham, Jaime. "Intergovernmental and Intertribal Relations: Walking the Sovereignty Walk." Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. 2012. Lecture.

"So the contributions for us, they're wide-ranging. These are some of the outcomes you can see. It enhances sovereignty and it potentially expands your jurisdiction. You know, for the Nez Perce, we, our treaty rights allow us to fish down the Columbia River close to the mouth of the Pacific Ocean. You know, we were able to provide law enforcement to govern treaty harvest in the Columbia River far outside our ancestral area but in our usual and [accustomed] areas. And that was recognized by the states of Oregon and Washington.

We amplify the impact of our actions. It's a domino effect. It's a symbiotic relationship in that what we do has policy implications, like I said earlier, and it helps sets the stage on how governments respond not just for their interests, but for a joint interest.

And it's a proactive way to address tribal concerns. We found that the more and more we explore these intergovernmental relationships, it helped us head off potential conflicts before they really built up a head of steam. We were able to address these things early on in many cases.

And it promotes actions on comprehensive community development -- is that we share in the makeup of our community. Again, like what Daniel Kemmis said about the politics of place, the symbiotic relationship -- that we do have in the interest of tribal governments, tribal leaders to provide for the welfare for their community can mirror the kinds of needs that other governments face in providing for the needs and welfare of their respective constituents." 

Jaime Pinkham: Intergovernmental and Intertribal Relations: Walking the Sovereignty Walk

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Jaime Pinkham discusses why the building of productive intergovernmental and intertribal relationships is so important, and shows how they can advance the nation-building efforts of Native nations. He shares a number of in-depth case-study examples illustrating how Native nations have engaged in such relationships in order to overcome conflicts and achieve their goals. 

People
Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Pinkham, Jaime. "Intergovernmental and Intertribal Relations: Walking the Sovereignty Walk." Emerging Leaders seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. March 21, 2012. Presentation. 

"So I get the opportunity to talk about 'Intergovernmental Relations: Walking the Sovereignty Walk.' And believe me, a lot of my comments will come from my personal experiences at Nez Perce. And it's good to see Joanna Merrick, one of our tribal leaders from Nez Perce, who was able to join us for this conference here. Because if you think about the political landscape of a place like Idaho, it's probably a lot like what the people at Yankton Sioux experience in South Dakota -- a very conservative community, a very conservative government, which trickles down into how the local governments kind of operate and feel and look at Indian policy. So it really was out of necessity that we found ourselves working on these intergovernmental agreements.

I think those of you from the Pacific Northwest probably know of a guy by the name of Billy Frank, Jr. from the Nisqually Tribe. And one of the quotes that I always steal from Billy, one of my favorite quotes, is when he said, 'We need to be peacemakers when we can and warriors when we must.' Those of you who ran for tribal council, I bet you've heard the standard campaign is, 'I will fight for sovereignty, I will fight for treaty rights.' It doesn't always have to be a fight, does it? Well, I've never heard anybody who said, 'I am going to fight against sovereignty and treaty rights,' much less somebody who got elected on that platform. So we ask ourselves, in this nation-building tool kit -- all these things that we've been sharing with [you] -- how does intergovernmental relations become a part of the tool kit?

So let's look at what's been going on over the past three decades, since the 1980s. We've seen this thickening of relationships between tribes and with states. And some of this is driven by the fact that we see governors being elected and taking actions to formalize new relations with tribes within their states. Some of it will come as an executive order by the governor. Just in 2010, the Governor of South Dakota, newly elected Governor [Dennis] Daugaard, had created a secretarial position -- Secretary of Indian Affairs -- and he selected someone from the Cheyenne River Sioux, an attorney by the name of J.R. LaPlante, to head up this first department within the State of South Dakota. And what's interesting, before this the tribal relations in South Dakota was under the tourism department in the state. So it shows a major shift in thinking. And we also see state legislatures responding, too. For example, in Idaho, the State Legislature had passed legislation that created an Indian Affairs Commission. And on this commission you have a representative from the House, from the Senate, from the Governor's office as well as a representative from each of the five tribes in Idaho. The expectation is that maybe there's another avenue to resolving these conflicts and trying to head off issues before it gets into the legislature because believe me, you don't always want state legislatures working on Indian policy.

There are other areas, too, that we see. If you looked at the National Conference of State Legislatures -- it's a coalition of the 50 state legislatures in the U.S. -- and on their website, if you look under the Indian Country headings, 42 of the 50 states now have some kind of a formal relationship that they're developing with tribes, whether it's through the actions of the governor or the legislature. So we see this emergence. But the other thing we see too, which I find extremely fascinating, is the number of Native Americans running and getting elected to state legislatures. Now you see this in South Dakota, certainly up in Alaska, Montana, we're seeing it in Idaho and Washington. One of my favorite stories is Richard Marcellais, Chairman of Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Not only was he chairman of the tribe, but he was also the state senator from North Dakota from that particular district. And back in 2010, when the chairman was running for re-election, he gave me one of his campaign cards. And you look at it and here he is with this war bonnet on and this picture that says, 'Integrity, Honesty, Hard-working. Re-elect Richard Marcellais, Chairman, Turtle Mountain Chippewa.' Turn the card over. Here he is in his business suit, 'Honesty, Integrity, Hard-working. Re-elect Richard Marcellais, State Senator.' I thought it was fascinating. How many citizens have this ability to exercise leadership in multiple layers of government? And tribes have that opportunity, and we see many tribal people exercising it.

Well, we also see the growth in intergovernmental relationships between tribes and states. For example, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires that we negotiate compacts with states, which in turn are intergovernmental relations. And many times we see these compacts also leading to other relationships and agreements with local governments over gaming and its impact on land use and public safety and revenue sharing and other areas as well. So we see this emergence going on. And the growth in intertribal partnerships have long been occurring. I was talking with Jefferson earlier, another Columbia River Treaty tribe at Warm Springs. We've had this ancient relationship where we're connected by river and our relationship to salmon, which that grew into a connection by blood. And so that strategic alliances with tribes that have lasted over maybe the axis of a common resource, a common language or maybe we had common enemies. So we always had these nation-to-nation relationships between tribes and that's nothing new for us.

The growing interest by governments in strengthening agreements, avoiding the pitfalls, and simplifying processes. Gosh, believe me, they just don't print enough money to solve all our problems these days. So what are some other avenues that we can have to provide the services that our tribal citizens need, whether it's through health care or law enforcement, jurisdictional issues? And I'll share some examples of where this is coming true. And the drivers for this growth are many.

We see this devolution of power. The federal government -- the granddaddy of governments, so to speak -- wanted to transfer more responsibilities and authorities down to other governments whether it's tribes, the states. And many times they transfer those responsibilities, but they don't transfer the resources to implement them. But we see this devolution going on. In some respects the Indian Self Determination Act, which provided the tribes with the opportunity to manage those BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] responsibilities, we see cases where tribes and even the states are asking for a greater say or the ability to manage natural resources like federal lands or the bison range in Montana when it comes to the Flathead Tribe [Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes], or Nez Perce who wanted to take on wolf recovery from the federal government for the entire state of Idaho. So you see these responsibilities being shifted from the national level on down to the tribal level and state level. And you even see states going through this too, transferring certain authorities down to counties and cities. Also the increased assertion of sovereignty by Native nations; the more that we get out there and exercise our sovereignty wisely, we see this expansion, especially where you have life-sustaining resources like water and fish and wildlife that don't know political boundaries. And so our sovereignty will be extending outside of our reservation boundaries to provide for law enforcement, management and care of natural resources. So we see ourselves expanding outside of our boundaries.

In some cases, it's the challenges themselves that drive the need for these intergovernmental relationships. In Nez Perce, we're a checkerboard reservation. You've got three counties, multiple cities. You've got these jurisdictional intersections and as cars are passing by, whose authority takes precedence? What parcel of land are you standing on at a particular time? And are you Indian, non-Indian, or are you a member of another tribe? And so you have all these complexities of this jurisdictional web of issues that you try to sort out. We also see it in social services, welfare reform, where Congress had kind of created this inequity granting more authorities to the states than they did to the tribes. So in some cases, we're forced to work with states on social service programs. And of course the limited capacities; and it's not just limited capacities of money, it's also what kind of talent and resources, whether it's technical resources or intellectual resources or information that we need to solve our problems. But as well as work with our neighbors as they face the same kind of concerns and challenges and opportunities that we do. And always there's the potential value added by cooperation. Thinking about Billy Frank's comment about are you going to be a peacemaker or a warrior, you need the wisdom and the strength to do the due diligence to decide which is going to work in your community. Sometimes it is the litigation -- you have no choice but to litigate your concerns.

One example I'd like to use that I know Joanna is familiar with, a very difficult decision at Nez Perce and it involved the adjudication of water rights in the Snake River Basin. In the tribe, we didn't want into the fight, but we had to get into the fight when the state had filed water claims against the federal government. Well, we weren't going to stand by and let the feds represent our interests. Even during the negotiation, hell, it was hard to tell what side the feds were on. Were they with us or against us? And so we knew that the only chance for us to make sure that we came out protecting our interest was to engage in the litigation. But the tribe took two tracks. They were parallel tracks that were simultaneous. One involved the litigation and one involved a mediated negotiated solution. On the litigation side, the primary basis for our claims was around in-stream flows. We're salmon people; we love our sushi. And so being [that] the Clearwater and the Salmon and the Snake rivers coming through our country, the salmon are important to our society. And so we wanted to insure the in-stream flows for the adults to return and for the young smolts to go back out to the ocean. But it was also the in-stream flows for our consumptive uses, for domestic-industrial uses. Also the litigation was over the use of springs. We used to herd our cattle all around that region. And in our treaty, we retained the right to access private property to water our cattle and horses. So that's where litigation was taking us.

Same thing, though, on a negotiation was about the in-stream flows. But when we got to negotiation we found out there were other things that we could put onto the table. We were allotted and all the surplus land that was not either reserved for tribal allotments or for the tribe in common and not homesteaded was given to the Bureau of Land Management. We had federal BLM lands within an Indian reservation and dammit, we wanted those lands back. So we put those on a negotiating table. The next thing we said, 'There are two federal fish hatcheries on this reservation. Why are the feds running them and why aren't we running them?' We said, 'We want those fish hatcheries,' under negotiations. Well, the feds said, 'Well, we'll give you this one. This other one has this huge research facility, it's state of the art and we don't want to give it up.' So we negotiated and we said, 'Okay, let us co-manage it with you.' So we started talking about even more than that. And we started talking about funding --funding for watershed restoration, funding for the infrastructure to have clean water and clean sewer, to build a community infrastructure. So we had a funding package on there. Then it came up to a vote and I tell you there was not a wrong answer. Do you vote for litigation? Do you vote for negotiation? They were both right answers. And I think there's something liberating about you can pick either one and either one is going to work. But after a hard decision -- I was no longer on council so that rested with Joanna and others -- they voted with the negotiations. And it was actually one of the largest-funded water rights settlements in this country. So it shows that sometimes litigation and cooperation -- tough choices -- but cooperation does allow you to put more opportunities on the table.

When I was on council and we'd be talking about these intergovernmental agreements, we had concerns about going forward with them. And one is we have this long history of conflicts with these governments. So why would we want to sit down and be their partner all of a sudden? And wasn't it just the feds who have this government-to-government relationship with us? Why do we want to recognize these more junior governments like cities and counties? And we also thought, 'Yeah, they're the minor leagues. We're a tribal government. We're in the big leagues. We don't want to deal with these little junior varsity governments.' And also the feeling that we are tribal sovereigns. We always think there are three true sovereigns, and that's the tribes, the federal government, and the states. And why would we want to deal with these other governments? By dealing with these non-sovereign sort of governments, doesn't that erode our sovereignty? So there was a concern about that. And the other one is heck, sometimes we're so darn good we just beat them in court anyway any time there's a conflict. But we figure, we admit that these intergovernmental relationships -- we're talking about how government is a tool for the nation -- well, this is one of the tools in the toolkit here, is these nation-building tools of how tribal governments can interact with other governments because we can influence policy outcomes on a broader scale. When you interact with state on policy issue, your authority, your voices get expanded and may impact how things go on outside your community. And it enhances economic opportunities. And I'll share an example of how this worked at Nez Perce, where because of the existence of the tribe and our work with the local city, we were able to expand the economic infrastructure to support both the city and the tribe. And also the delivery of quality services to our tribal members, especially on reservations where you're very rural and we had limited resources to provide for our tribal members, but also the counties and the cities have the same limitations. So are there opportunities that we can cobble everything together to create a single functioning program? And again, I'll share more examples of that.

This federal devolution thing -- it's not going to go away. I think it will continue to expand and we need to be prepared for it. Utilization of scarce resources, the mutual concerns -- as I covered before -- but also I think what's important here is when we talk about the concerns -- that I showed on an earlier page -- really these intergovernmental relationships are an exercise of sovereignty. We say to ourselves, when we get into these agreements, that we have the sovereign ability to negotiate the terms of an agreement, to pick and choose who we want to partner with, to characterize what is the nature of that relationships. So really these intergovernmental agreements are just an expression of our sovereignty. And so the contributions are many -- and again so that I stay on time and we play a little bit of catch up here, let me cover these in the examples that I'm going to show here in a bit.

So let me share just some common areas for these intergovernmental agreements. One of my favorites is a Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. They sit on the far east side of the state right along the boundary of the State of Minnesota. So you've got the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, a small reservation and it overlaps the boundaries of the city, the City of Flandreau. And so again you have this jurisdictional intersection. Whose laws take precedent? Who's involved in a particular action or crime? Is it civil, is it criminal, on and on and on? Well, they were struggling with this about this overlapping mixed jurisdiction and they finally decided back in 2000 and said, 'What if we just create a single police department?' And so in 2000 they created a joint police department. And actually, it's led by the tribe, so you have uniformed police officers that provide law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, that also provide law enforcement over the city. And how they managed that, the cooperation of that is they have a joint public safety commission that provides oversight, helps with the creating of laws, and it respects the rights of the tribe as well as the interests of the city in this agreement.

Others are justice systems, and we've been talking a lot about [Chairman John] 'Rocky' Barrett at Citizen Band Potawatomi. We have a lot of Rocky stories, too. And Rocky was saying, there was a city that came to him and said, 'We don't have the resources for law enforcement on our reservation. Can we contract with the tribal police to provide public safety on the reservation?' And Rocky said, 'Yeah, fine, we can do that.' But he said then they came back later and they said, 'You know what, we like how you resolve your disputes in your court system. Can we use your court system to adjudicate our conflicts?' And Rocky said, 'That was unheard of.' A non-Indian government saying, 'we like how your courts operate, can we use your courts to resolve conflict?' And it just shows the sophistication of the infrastructure that Citizen Band Potawatomi was developing. When I was talking to Rocky a couple years ago, he said that agreement is no longer in place. He said after a city council election, the new city council voted to disband that relationship. So we say, 'Well, the city didn't have the staying power to stay in it.' But there's another example that's been emerging.

Leech Lake Band of Chippewa in Northern Minnesota -- another checkerboard reservation -- and you've got the issues that the tribe and the non-Indian community share is the same that many societies share; and it's the substance abuse, and the crime that is associated with substance abuse. And so you've got the state, the tribe and the counties with these overlapping jurisdictions. And they decided to get together to create a joint wellness court; it was the tribe and two local counties -- Cass County and Itasca County -- that formed this wellness court. And while it focuses on the crimes itself, it also focuses on how do you drive down the repeat offenders. And so it has this intensive monitoring program that if you're convicted then you have to frequently appear before the court and they monitor you on your progress. 'Are you keeping up with your treatments? Are you doing your community service?' And on and on and on. But what's interesting is that it doesn't matter which court you go to. The joint powers agreement says, 'Well, you go to the court...' If I'm a tribal member, I can go to Cass County court and through teleconferencing I'm kind of beamed into the tribal court. And so what's interesting is that you've got these three courts with the same laws respecting their authorities, but it doesn't matter whether you're Indian or non, you can go and get the same kind of treatment and oversight in whichever courtroom you go into. And the counties actually, the counties and the courthouses, fly the Leech Lake Tribal flag in their courtroom. How many county courthouses fly tribal flags? One of the attorneys, one of the judges actually said, he said, 'There was a time when I thought tribal courts were inferior to our courts.' And he said, 'Through this joint powers agreement I recognize it is not so.' He says, 'I now fully understand the strength of tribal sovereignty.' And he says, 'That Leech Lake flag that flies in my courtroom reminds me of that every day.' There are even cases where the tribal judge, Korey Wahwassuck, takes the bench right next to one of these county judges, too. I think it's just a phenomenal agreement.

Land use examples. Swinomish, I think, is a great example; you've got another checkerboard reservation. And so you've got the county and the cities that overlap with Swinomish and each had their own land use laws. And so when maybe a county would permit something and put conditions on this permit process, you would have impacts across the boundaries on the tribal resources, impact to the water and the land. And so they decided to get together and create a comprehensive land use plan, which now they do. And that land use plan, while maybe it started with the county land use plan, it began to grow into other plans and other arrangements. Actually, as I understand, Swinomish was the first tribe in the nation to have a joint agreement on land use planning with other governments within a reservation.

Natural resource examples; there's an abundance of those. Chippewa Flowage Agreement; Lac Courte Oreilles in Wisconsin has a relationship with the state and the U.S. Forest Service -- the feds -- on the operation of a reservoir that inundated one of their villages. And so this cooperative relationship between three parties helps to address the management concerns in managing the water levels within that storage facility.

Social services: you see the Houlton Band [of Maliseet Indians] that has this child protective team that works with the state to try to assert more authority of protecting Maliseet children in their placement and their care and establishing foster homes. The other one I want to share is Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; we've been talking about [former chairman] Frank Ettawageshik. They have within their constitution a clause that specifically talks about intergovernmental relationships. They said, 'We recognize we have inherent powers and that as citizens and nations we have these inherent rights.' And in the constitution it says they recognize that there are other peoples and governments and nations within the world that also have these inherent rights. And it says, 'We will recognize their sovereignty as long as they recognize and respect ours.' It's a quid pro quo on a government-to-government relationship and I think very unique to see that actually embedded in a tribal constitution in that way.

Let me share a couple of case studies from home, one about this bitter fight that we had when I was on tribal council with this alliance, and another one is this project that we did with the City of Lewiston on expanding our infrastructure. Nez Perce is a checkerboard reservation. If you look at a highway map, it would be within the State of Idaho and it covers about three quarters of a million acres, but through our treaty we have actually a large land base that extends across three states and covers roughly 13 million acres of land. We were homesteaded. Similar case of what happened at Yankton Sioux; we were allotted and then homesteaded and that has created a bunch of conflict. Well, this alliance had formed because, as we were out there exercising our sovereign powers -- whether it be through tribal employment rights offices, we were aggressively purchasing land -- and thank god the tribe is still aggressive in buying land today. We're buying land on and off the reservations and county governments were upset because of the fear that it was going to erode the tax base and we were going to become larger land barons. We had implemented a utility tax on the reservation saying any private utility running through the reservation whether it's a railroad or a cell tower or utility line had to pay a utility tax. Law enforcement. Even the state lottery became the issue because we told the State of Idaho, 'If we had to negotiate a compact with you to have gaming on our reservation, then doesn't it serve that you have to get a compact with us to have those lottery machines on the reservation?' So we forced the state...well, we had to litigate it first and we won in litigation and it required the state to negotiate a compact with us on the state lottery; but it was a source of conflict, these ongoing questions of sovereign immunity.

Those of you who can remember back; there was a senator from the State of Washington, Slade Gorton, who was really tough on tribes with sovereignty. Well, Slade was in his heyday back then. And so 23 governments -- cities, counties, highway districts, school districts, even the same school districts our kids were going to -- had created this alliance to challenge the jurisdiction of the Nez Perce Tribe. And the premise of that conflict was the same thing that happened at Yankton Sioux. As a matter of fact, the tribal attorney that was fighting or the attorney that was fighting Yankton from South Dakota was also helping to fight tribes at Mille Lacs, the Omaha and Winnebagos in Nebraska, and he moved out west to help fight the Nez Perce on our jurisdictional issue. So this guy was really making a name for himself, kind of inciting this racial conflict over sovereignty.

And so the alliance took the position that since we were homesteaded that our reservation was diminished. Quite basically saying is that our outer boundary was erased and our only jurisdiction was over the lands that we held, that we owned. And we said, 'No, the political boundary is intact,' and there was an issue of diminishment. And they were actually using the Yankton Sioux case to cite that. And so we had these series of conflicts and charges and countercharges that were going on. And things got so bad the prosecuting attorney from Lewis County was speeding through the reservation, coming down the grade and down at the bottom was one of our tribal police officers. And he was speeding on by and so our tribal officer pulled behind him and pulled him over. And when the tribal police officer got up there, this county prosecutor said, 'I don't recognize your authority,' and he drove off. And our cop, our tribal cop, played it really smart. He didn't get into this wild chase, he just pulled in behind him with his lights flashing and followed him off the reservation boundary to where this guy turned him into, he turned himself into the state patrol. We tried to get the guy disbarred, but the best that we got out of it was tremendous media coverage about how reckless this is becoming. We had the city administrator for one of the communities on the reservation write a letter, an internal memo, which happened to leak and it talked about bloodshed was inevitable. Phil Batt -- grand gentleman, the governor from Idaho -- flies up and tries to convene a meeting between us and with these 23 entities around the table and, as hard as he tried, we were not going to come to a resolution and the tensions continued to grow.

But then something wonderful happened. And I hear Joe Kalt's going to be here later on this afternoon, and Joe Kalt is one of my heroes. And Joe had a friend from Idaho, a guy by the name of Keith Allred, who worked at the Harvard Institute and he said, 'This is what is going on in Idaho.' And so folks at the Harvard JFK [John F. Kennedy] School of Government offered to come up and help mediate a solution. How can we get off of this litigation merry-go-round and ease these confrontations, which were growing and building day after day? And so through Joe and Keith, they provided this neutral facilitation and created the starting point that we would accept each other's existence and honor and recognize them. And we needed to learn about one another. The more you fear, the less that you're willing to collaborate on. And we discovered that we cared about many things. And what we ended up doing was framing this MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] where we promised to work together. We knew that the jurisdictional issues would always be there but we said, 'There's areas of interest that we have in common. We need to focus on that. We'll commit ourselves to respect our governments and we'll agree to try to minimize these conflicts.' And so we went forward and we created an MOU that had this language in it. It says, 'nothing in this MOU shall limit or waive the regulatory authority or jurisdiction of the governments.' The alliance signed off on that. The very thing that they feared they were willing to recognize the tribe's jurisdiction and our sovereignty. So there's still tension between them, but boy, that was a major milestone to get that agreement in place and try to bring some peace back to our existence.

Quickly here, let me wrap up with another project: the City of Lewiston, Idaho. The reservation boundary is over here in green. The City of Lewiston, the largest community next to the reservation, well, our casino is right there where that little red arrow is. We bought a sliver of land and we thought that was the ideal place. And it first started out with a little metal shed where we sold cigarettes and expanded to a little convenience store. And we said, 'It's time to put a gaming facility there,' but we didn't own a lot of land. And by putting up a gaming facility, we knew that we're going to need the infrastructure of water and sewer but that was going to eat up valuable land that we'd rather develop. So our executive director, being quite savvy, he pulled out the comprehensive plan for the City of Lewiston and he looked at their urban growth boundary. And you know what, the city was kind of encroaching and growing towards the reservation boundary. And we recognized that eventually the city is going to have to expand their infrastructure and services, so why don't we get together and hit them up with a proposal? So that's what we did. So we committed to work together. And this is when the alliance issues was going on and so we played this quite well in the media, I thought, too. We told the city, 'How about we go out and get an EDA [U.S. Economic Development Administration] grant? And what we're going to do is we'll build the sewer line connecting to your sewer and water facility where it ends right now and let us extend it on to the reservation boundary and connect it to where we want to do our casino expansion at.' And we said, 'We'll build it to your specifications.' And they said, 'Yeah. Eventually we're going to want to build that and you're going to pay for it? Well, that's great. Let's do it.' And so we did. We got the EDA grant, extended the water and sewer out to our casino. And then, you know what? The tribe -- we're not water and sewer managers -- but you know what? The city's pretty darn good at it. So we told the city, 'Let us transfer the ownership of the facility to you at the reservation boundary. That way you can take over all...you've got the infrastructure in place already to manage those kinds of things.' So we did that, and so right now we pay the city a fee to maintain this. We didn't have to use up valuable tribal land to do that, and right now I'm happy to say the tribe just did groundbreaking again for further expansion. So here's a chance where we saw this intergovernmental opportunity with another tribe that helped us expand our economic infrastructure. But believe me, the good will that that created, the fact that we're fighting these 23 alliances and we said, 'See what happens when you want to play fair and you want to respect us as a sovereign?' Our sovereign ability allowed us to do that and the City of Lewiston was one of the beneficiaries of that.

Well, I've got to wrap this up, but some of the observations are that this isn't easy work. There's a long history of conflict that we need to overcome. We had to exercise kind of that sovereign attitude; do the due diligence. Where are those opportunities where we can have these intergovernmental relationships through cooperation and negotiation? And then where are those times that we've got to be -- like Billy [Frank] says -- it's time to be the warrior and draw the line? Both are hard choices, both are difficult paths to take, but the difference is in the outcome. And I've got to wrap up now and give a couple of minutes for questions and answers, but thank you for your attention."

Native Nation Building TV: "Intergovernmental and Intertribal Relations"

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Guests Jaime Pinkham and Sarah Hicks focus on Native nations’ efforts to enhance their relationships with other governments as a way to advance their nation-building objectives. It details how some Native nations are forging mutually beneficial intergovernmental agreements, and chronicles the many advantages to forging similar intertribal arrangements.

Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Intergovernmental and Intertribal Relations" (Episode 8). Native Nation Building television/radio series. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy and the UA Channel, The University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. 2006. Television program. 

Mark St. Pierre: "Hello, friends. I'm your host, Mark St. Pierre and welcome to Native Nation Building. Contemporary Native Nations face many challenges including building effective governments, developing strong economies that fit their culture and circumstances, solving difficult social problems and balancing cultural integrity in change. Native Nation Building explores these often complex challenges in the ways Native Nations are working to overcome them as they seek to make community and economic development a reality. Don't miss Native Nation Building next."

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[music]

Mark St. Pierre: "Today's show explores the importance of intertribal and intergovernmental relationships and the innovative approaches that many Native Nations are taking as they forge ahead with Nation building goals. With us today to examine these relationships are Jaime Pinkham and Sarah Hicks. Sarah Hicks, a citizen of the Native village of Ouzinkie in Alaska, is a doctoral candidate at Washington University. She also directs the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center where she works on a joint project with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Jaime Pinkham, a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe, is Watershed Program Manager with the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission and Intertribal Fisheries Organization. Welcome to both of you and thanks for being with us." 

Jaime Pinkham: "Thank you."

Sarah Hicks: "Thanks."

Mark St. Pierre: "Jaime, when we talk about intergovernmental and intertribal relationships among Native Nations, what are we really talking about?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Well, Mark, I feel we're talking about creating a platform that respects the individual autonomy of the tribes or the governmental agencies that sit at the table and it's a relationship that's built upon trust and mutual respect and provides our ability to provide collective talent and wisdom and resources to overcome conflicts or to move forward on areas of mutual concern."

Mark St. Pierre: "Would you like to respond to that?"

Sarah Hicks: "Yeah, I think we're really talking about deliberate relationships between sovereign governments who are coming to the table as equals. We're looking at relationships that are across various issue areas, we're looking at relationships that are between different levels of government, different kinds of governments and even different branches of government."

Mark St. Pierre: "Sarah, what role do these relationships play in building a Native nation?"

Sarah Hicks: "Well, these kinds of relationships really provide a way for tribal governments to extend their influence beyond their boundaries. It's really a way for tribal governments to leverage their influence, to bring their voice to the table with other governments to influence the policy making that's going on outside of their boundaries."

Mark St. Pierre: "Just as a follow up, is there a concern that tribes who work with, say, state or county agencies are surrendering some sovereignty, or how does that work out?"

Sarah Hicks: "Historically, because of the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribal governments, that there's been a great deal of attention to this very critical important relationship. But on the other hand, as we've seen devolution, or the federal government passing resources and authority to lower levels of government, to state government, to county government, in some cases to tribal government, that I think tribes are becoming less concerned about what they're giving up, and I think they see many more opportunities to cooperate on issues of mutual concern. So they're really looking to their neighboring governments as potential partners to accomplish some of these really important jobs that local governments perform."

Mark St. Pierre: "Jaime, you seem like you want to jump in there."

Jaime Pinkham: "I don't see it as an erosion of sovereignty when we reach to other governments, and I think we're seeing more and more -- because of the capacity that tribes are building -- is we see these other governments reaching out to us. We've built the institutional capacity on resource programs, education and health care, and the other thing is that the tribes have unique access to federal resources, for example highway trust funds, which we can help rebuild or maintain infrastructures, especially in rural communities, that county governments and local municipalities depend upon, too. So I see them reaching out to us as well."

Mark St. Pierre: "You've both seen a shift in how Native nations view these relationships and their potential benefits. Historically, what began that shift in emphasis?"

Sarah Hicks: "Well, I think much of it was devolution as I was just mentioning earlier. Really in the late 1980s, we started to see more and more federal programs, environmental programs, some human service programs, community development programs that are being moved to more local levels of government, and over time the pace of devolution has increased. So throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, we've seen more and more resources really being directed at more local levels of government, and this just increases the incentive for tribal governments and state and county governments to look for these issues of mutual concern, to really bring to bear their limited resources on both sides to address issues that all governments care about."

Jaime Pinkham: "I also see the follow up on that is some courtroom fatigue where too often we're trying to resolve our differences in the court room and when you go to court you have one winner, one loser but when you come together in exploring these relationships you try to harmonize your efforts, and while litigation and negotiations are both difficult paths to take, the difference is the outcome and the outcome is the mutual benefits. The other thing is I've really witnessed over the past 10 to 15 years this elevation of both state and federal governments in formalizing tribal policies. It's an expression of tribal relationships, so we see the cabinet levels in the state legislatures and representatives of the governor's office now reaching out and creating new relationships with Indian tribes."

Mark St. Pierre: "In regions where tribes are really a small minority of the local or general population, have these relationships in fact increased the power of tribes in regional and local politics?"

Sarah Hicks: "I would argue yes. I think that this is a vehicle for tribes to come together on the one hand in intertribal organizations. We've seen an increased growth in regional intertribal organizations, and I would say an increased strength in those organizations as well over the past couple of years. So on the one hand, tribes being able to come together to voice their collective concerns, to share their resources that they have has definitely made a difference, but I also think that on the state and county level, neighboring governments are starting to see tribes as bigger political players. Tribes are getting on the map. They're starting to realize that there are a lot of common interests with tribal governments."

Jaime Pinkham: "And I agree. I think we're seeing many cases where local governments would like to ride upon the coattails of tribal governments because of the capacity that they have at dealing with the variety of levels of issues from very local to national in nature."

Mark St. Pierre: "Just on a personal level, on a human-to-human level, do you see these relationships strengthening communication and relationships between literal neighbors of the reservations?"

Jaime Pinkham: "I think we do, because as the tribes get more active in local politics, especially you start seeing members of the tribal communities becoming on school boards and county governments and city governments, and that helps really soothe and create and foster some positive relationships. What concerns me is we see the growth of these anti-Indian, anti-sovereignty organizations, but if we could work better and have these positive examples, we can try to teach these places where this fear exists of tribal sovereignty that really there's nothing to fear but really there's an opportunity, a partnership that can really help all communities prosper and grow."

Mark St. Pierre: "That kind of leads to a logical question I guess then. How have tribes or Native Nations avoided litigation, avoided conflict in dealing with other governments?"

Sarah Hicks: "Well, I think tribes and neighboring governments have really looked to local agreements as a way to avoid litigation. As Jaime was mentioning earlier, litigation is frequently extremely time-consuming, extremely expensive, and often results in an outcome that nobody's happy with, so to the extent that tribes and states or tribes and counties or tribes and other tribes can come to the table together to negotiate agreements that work better for everybody down on the ground, that's a win-win situation. We've seen a number of examples. If you look to motor fuel taxation and tobacco taxation, there have been some great agreements in Nevada, in Nebraska, in Oklahoma, in Arizona. There have been agreements around natural resource issues, around protection of cultural issues, around human service delivery. So I think we're seeing a proliferation of these kinds of relationships across a whole range of different topic areas."

Mark St. Pierre: "Is it in the best interest of federal, state and municipal governments to cross these traditional divides and work together with Native nations?"

Jaime Pinkham: "I believe it is. If you look out west, where that sense of individuality is treasured, but as long as we remain isolated, anonymous and faceless, we will never be able to come over some of those very difficult issues out west and a lot of those issues will deal in terms of the environment, the return of wolves or the recovery of salmon, where we see divisiveness in our communities. So the best way really is to start as local as you can. It's the politics of place in crafting those relationships very locally and using that to build up the ladder to state, federal governments. Who better to resolve local issues than those of us who live there? And to take those outcomes to where we really need action passed, and whether it's at Congress or at the state legislative level."

Sarah Hicks: "I guess I just wanted to make a related point, which is that I think not only are we seeing these relationships grow in all different kinds of topic areas and really in all different places across the country, but I think we're also seeing relationships that are being built across different branches of government. So increasingly, we're seeing relationships not only with the executive branch but with the legislative branch or in some cases they're relationships with the judiciary, with training of judges around some particularly important issues to tribal communities. So I think the trend is just growing and I think increasingly we're seeing that we have so many common issues where all neighboring governments are concerned about finite resources, about protecting our environment, about serving our citizens, making sure they have the essential governmental services they need. So I think increasingly we're just seeing more opportunities for governments to come together to solve these issues at the local level."

Mark St. Pierre: "Has this caused a shift in how these governments view Native Nations they work with? In other words, the State of Washington for instance, has it created a shift positive or negative in how they view the tribes in Washington?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Well, I can't speak for Washington, but in Idaho when I was on Tribal Council with Nez Perce, we did sense a shift, but unfortunately the shift was going two directions. One is where we were working collectively with a local county government and a city government to provide services to the reservation, but by us being there having access to economic development funds we were able to improve the infrastructure of the City of Lewiston. On the other hand, we saw these other governments riding on this wave of concern about what sovereignty will do to a community, and so we were faced with an alliance of 22 entities from school districts to city governments to county governments who feared tribal sovereignty and what it could do, the concerns about regulation and courts and they feared this word called 'sovereignty.' Sovereignty is something that really is an expression of the health of a community. So we worked hard to try to overcome the misconception that some of these communities had and the way to do it is to try to show the positive relationships we had with other neighboring communities."

Mark St. Pierre: "In South Dakota, I think there's a tremendous fear that in negotiating with the state, for instance, about anything, you're in a sense violating your treaty, because your treaty is between the tribe and the federal government. Do you want to respond to that concern 'cause it's a powerful concern."

Sarah Hicks: "Well, and I think part of this comes from a sense or a fear that many of these protections can be eroded, that the resources, the federal trust responsibility to American Indian tribal governments can be eroded. And so out of the fear to sort of protect what we have, there's been in some cases a real resistance to developing these kinds of relationships. But I think that nationally, we've started to move in a bit of a different direction. We've started to hear in national forums, tribal leaders articulating, 'We need to make sure that the federal trust responsibility is protected. We need assurances from the federal government that increasingly tribal self determination and tribal self-governance efforts, that increasingly, intergovernmental relationships aren't in anyway affecting the federal trust responsibility.' So I think on the one hand, tribes are concerned about that and I think they are looking to ensure that those protections are in place, but on the other hand, because of again the many, many common concerns and because of the increasing resources and opportunities for collaboration at the local level, I think we're seeing tribes move in that direction."

Jaime Pinkham: "And no doubt, I sense there still is some concern in Indian Country, because you have the federal government and then tribal government, state governments and the lower governments, and there's the concern that if we work with governments below us from the states down to city governments, that it's an erosion of our treaty rights and an erosion of our sovereignty. But the thing to keep in mind is we have the sovereign choice to work with those governments only if we choose."

Sarah Hicks: "Right. And I think we are. I think Jaime's right. We're talking about deliberate relationships between sovereign governments. It's governments coming together at the same table as equals to determine the type of relationship they want to have and what that relationship will encompass. So with tribes at the driver seat, I think this is really just underscoring that this really is about tribes as governments, tribes behaving as governments."

Mark St. Pierre: "I certainly think that sends a powerful idea to those tribes that are very nervous about these kinds of things, to hear that there are tribal groups working on positive relationships with local governments. Let's turn to a totally different thing here and look at intertribal relationships. Why are a growing number of Native Nations developing relationships and ties with other tribes in their region or nationally?"

Jaime Pinkham: "I think it's built on longstanding alliances and relationships that we've always had. In the Columbia River it was the salmon that always brought us together. The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, we're focused around the salmon, so we've always had the traditional alliances. The other thing, too, is recognizing the diversity of the landscape of Indian Country with our forms of government, our languages and our economies, it's important that we begin to share our talent and also to share knowledge and wisdom. When you look at parts of the U.S. where maybe we don't have the economic strength or we don't have the political strength and we're going to rely upon our neighboring tribes, and so I think these alliances are pretty fundamental to helping to elevate the tribal voice in places like Washington, D.C."

Sarah Hicks: "Part of it's strength in numbers, the sheer fact that tribes can come together, that we do have consensus on a great many issues and that we have a stronger voice if we work together. I also think that Jaime's right, a lot of this is really just formalizing relationships that have always been there."

Mark St. Pierre: "The tribes that work together, is it important that they kind of have their own internal tribal ducks in a row, that they have an effective government?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Yeah. Again, getting back to all politics is local, yeah, you have to be well-grounded and have strong, stable political leadership and use that as the basis and build up from there."

Sarah Hicks: "There's no doubt that it's important to have a message straight from the top that says, 'These relationships are important, that we're going to do what we can to work collaboratively on issues that we can.' This isn't to say that neighboring governments can always find common ground and can always agree on solutions to joint problems, but it is to say that it's important to have a message from the leadership that articulates very clearly the intention of cooperative relationships. On the other hand, I also think it's really important that the technical folks, that the staff, that the program directors are also on board for this. In some sense, you need the message from the top, the general policy that says, 'We're going to work together.' But on the other hand, it's the technical staff, it's those folks that are actually doing the work who really have to take to heart what it means to work collaboratively, to look for those opportunities to invite the other governments to the table."

Mark St. Pierre: "This question's for Jaime. In your capacity with the Nez Perce Tribe, you've been involved in a number of intergovernmental relationships. How did that process start? Tell us how that began and what it led to."

Jaime Pinkham: "Well, let me use an example, it's a recent example. We were involved in one of the largest water adjudications in the nation, the Snake River Basin, the Snake River Basin Adjudication, and actually we had two tracks going. We had the litigation track in court, but through the McCarran Amendment we're stuck in state court. And that's not the most comfortable place for a tribe to have their issues resolved. The other option we took was to try to find a negotiated settlement and both processes were going on track. And so the Tribe decided that we needed to keep both options open and we aggressively pursued a negotiated settlement working with the State of Idaho as well as representatives of the federal government. And believe me, it took us almost eight years to get this thing through and it took a lot of hard work. And like I said earlier, both paths are difficult but the only difference is the outcome. So we were able to resolve our differences and we had to be prepared to give a little and to gain a little bit. But in the end we avoided court, we avoided a court that may have ruled against our sovereignty, a court that could have ruled against some of our treaty-reserved rights. We preserved that. Those are the core values of our community and through negotiation we were able to preserve them."

Mark St. Pierre: "For those of us that aren't familiar with the actual issue, give us a framework for what brought the conflict to be."

Jaime Pinkham: "Actually, it started when the state went after securing their reserved water rights out of the Snake River Basin and they filed claims with the federal government. Well, the tribe couldn't stand back. We had to submit our claims and our claims were based on really two fundamental principles. One is in-stream flow to protect fisheries and the second one was the consumptive uses on reservation, whether it be for residential or industrial uses. And so we went through a long process to establish our tribal water rights claims."

Mark St. Pierre: "You now work for the Columbia River Intertribal fish Commission and I understand that's an award-winning intertribal organization. How has that commission empowered its member tribes, the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Actually, I see it the other way -- that they've empowered us as a real function of tribal government. We provide technical expertise, legal expertise and assistance in intergovernmental affairs, but really when you look, the real strength of our organization rests in the tribes and the capacity they've built on the fisheries front in the four tribes in the Pacific Northwest that have treaty rights on the Columbia River. So really they empower us and we act and respond to whatever directions that they want us to go to. It's a wonderful organization and I would say that we're on the cutting edge of salmon recovery in very contentious times, the fate of the salmon and subsequent fate of the four lower Snake River dams. It is a difficult issue to be dealing with, but fortunately we have four strong tribal governments that have empowered us to act on their behalf."

Mark St. Pierre: "I guess one of the things that I'm looking at, the salmon recovery, is something that has broad economic implications for the region doesn't it?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Oh, it does. The irony is that when the settlers first came out west they had the timber, the agriculture, and the salmon economies, so salmon helped get a foothold. But today you hear them speak only passionately about protecting the timber economy or the agriculture economy and we need to once again elevate the significance that the salmon economy played, not just for Indian people but for the region. And a strong salmon economy also means a strong, healthy environment."

Mark St. Pierre: "Sarah, in your work with the National Congress of American Indians, you've been exposed to many mechanisms available to develop these types of partnerships. Can you talk about how that came about and what some of those methods are?"

Sarah Hicks: "Sure. First, I think just the National Congress of American Indians is an interesting model. Our organization was founded in 1944, actually in response to attempts by the federal government to terminate American Indian tribes. So the very impetus for our organization was that tribes needed to gather together collectively to advocate against the federal policy toward termination. So the whole purpose of our organization was to bring tribes together and to represent their interests to the federal government. So that's just one model of intertribal organizations. But then I think what you're speaking more directly to is a project that the National Congress of American Indians has had with the National Conference of State Legislatures, a national organization that serves the legislators of every state in the United States so actually they serve a little over 7,000 state legislators. And in this work that NCAI has done with NCSL, we've been funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for about six years now to start to provide some targeted technical assistance to states and tribes who are interested in finding new ways to work together. So some of the models that we've looked at and shared broadly include the establishment of Indian Affairs commissions, so these are usually executive-branch offices within the state government that try to coordinate the affairs of the executive branch in relationship to tribes. Then, of course, there are a number of legislative committees. I believe there are 14 states that have 17 different legislative committees that deal specifically with tribal issues. Some deal broadly with state tribal relationships where as others deal with particular issues around the relationships so perhaps repatriation, perhaps gaming, things like that. But there certainly are quite a number of models out there where states and tribes are finding new ways to work together developing new mechanisms and developing new agreements that will sort of chart the circumstances under which these relationships should continue."

Mark St. Pierre: "What I understand, it seems to me from what you're saying that the general climate is improving for the positive. Would that be your..."

Sarah Hicks: "I think so. If you look at some of the work that NCAI has done over the past year, we've been working up in Alaska with the previous administration there to sign a government-to-government agreement with the tribes in Alaska. That was the Millennium Agreement. We've seen similar types of agreements in a variety of other states. We've seen an increased number of Native legislators. I think that's a big sign that Native people think it's worth investing in the state system. We've seen increased number of bills that address tribal issues in state legislatures. So I think across the board we're seeing various indicators that tribes are moving in this direction. And again, not that this is a panacea. We don't think this is the be-all-and-end-all, that this is the solution for everything. Certainly tribal governments and neighboring governments will have very different views on some things in large part because of tribal cultures and tribal values may differ substantially from other governments. But on the other hand, it makes a lot of sense to look at issues that we can agree on and I think we are definitely moving in that direction."

Mark St. Pierre: "Let's turn now to some success stories. I know both of you have tremendous involvement in a wide range of these kinds of relationship building and conflict resolution. Give us some ideas of some of the successes in the country that are based on this new energy."

Jaime Pinkham: "Some of the things that we've worked on back home in Nez Perce country and looking at issues that were once conflict that had now come into a cooperative relationship, and one was when we were looking at protecting our traditional foods and medicines and the federal government had a plan to spray herbicides and it was to take out noxious weeds. And then we protested that so in turn the federal government and the state worked with us to develop a new method of controlling noxious weeds that would safeguard our traditional foods and medicines. So we started a bio-control center, so I think that was one where we took conflict and turned it into something that was positive and actually is providing resources, non-pesticide options to control noxious weeds in the Pacific Northwest."

Mark St. Pierre: "Sarah?"

Sarah Hicks: "I guess there are a couple that I can think of. One is that in 1998, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation signed an agreement with the Narragansett Tribe that would actually allow for tribal members to be hired by the state department of transportation to monitor some of the progress that was being made on developing highways, to be there when human remains or cultural artifacts were found so that there would be tribal members on site to try to make sure that those things were protected and they were addressed in a way that was appropriate to the tribe. So there are some examples like that. There are examples around federal subsidies to tribes to deal with foster care and adoption. Right now the federal funding flow is only to states, but we've seen some progress such that there are 71 tribal state agreements in 13 different states that allow these federal funds that are so urgently needed to deal with child welfare issues in tribal communities, to allow these funds to flow through the state to the tribes and in many cases there are other administrative funds and there are training funds that go with these so we are seeing I think...Jaime's pointing out some examples, and I'm talking about a couple others, and we're seeing that really this isn't relegated to just one domain, that we're actually seeing these kinds of efforts in a variety of different topic areas."

Mark St. Pierre: "I know in the fishing industry in the northwest that there have been arguments about water flow in terms of the revitalization of salmon in those rivers and they've required very complicated agreements. Can you tell us a bit about some of those?"

Jaime Pinkham: "Well, yeah, some of them are complex agreements where we have to work with a variety of people. If you look at the river system, it's a river of life. Not just human life, but an economic life, and a wonderful example is where the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have reached beyond...we can talk about [intergovernmental] relationships and intertribal relationships, but also there's the importance of creating private sector relationships, and the Umatilla Tribe has a wonderful example of that where they were concerned that the irrigators were pulling water out of the life-giving river as they were trying to return salmon to the Umatilla River. So they worked with the local irrigators to do a water exchange to keep water within the river system. So they took what were traditional adversaries and now they've become allies in salmon recovery. So we see those kinds of agreements at play. And I'm hoping we'll see more and more of those. The salmon issue is not going to be resolved overnight and you've got so many players in the game from utilities to irrigation to recreation interests and the long-seated tribal interest that is there, and we need to continue to reach out and build more of these relationships. And you see the tribes who are taking the lead on running fish hatcheries and working with federal government on land restoration to kind of restore the habitat that is important to these species, so the relationships are really building out in the northwest."

Mark St. Pierre: "We want to give a heartfelt thanks to Sarah Hicks and Jaime Pinkham for appearing on today's edition of Native Nation Building, a program of the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona. To learn more about Native Nation building and the issues discussed here today, please visit the Native Nations Institute's website at www.nni.arizona.edu/nativetv. Thank you for joining us and please tune in for the next edition of Native Nation Building."