oral histories

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

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

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NNI Indigenous Leadership Fellow: Rae Nell Vaughn (Part 2)

Rae Nell Vaughn, former Chief Justice of the Mississippi Choctaw Supreme Court, shares how her nation methodically re-integrated Choctaw core values into its administration of justice, and how Mississippi Choctaw's creation of a fair and efficient justice system is paying social, cultural,…

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Patricia Ninham-Hoeft, Anthony Pico and Sophie Pierre: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office (Q&A)

Patricia Ninham-Hoeft, Sophie Pierre, and Anthony Pico address questions about how to create and maintain a foundation for effective, sustainable leadership within Native nations.

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Environmental Wisdom: Keeping Indigenous Stories Alive

Environmental Wisdom: Keeping Indigenous Stories Alive

"Long ago, when animals were gente..." Those words, uttered countless times by indigenous Amazonian storytellers, blur the boundary between humans and other creatures in the forests and rivers, revealing a different view of the way human and non-human worlds intertwine. "You can't talk about…

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Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times: The Seven Teachings

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times: The Seven Teachings

"We are invited once again to revisit the time honored Teachings, and to embrace the old ways in order to renew our connection to the Sacred Teachings. We need this old knowledge in our lives to live in these modern times of technology." So began a PowerPoint presentation by Chi-Ma'iingan/Great…

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Indigenous languages crucial to cultural flourishing

Indigenous languages crucial to cultural flourishing

I believe our languages to be so central to who we are as Indigenous peoples, that I cannot discuss our present or our future without reference to languages. The oppression we have faced, and continue to face, does not define us in the way our languages do. Our resilience, and the fact that we have…

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Capturing Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Torres Strait

Protecting and preserving cultural and ecological knowledge for the future is important. The Torres Strait Regional Authority has recently developed and piloted a traditional knowledge database working with members of the Boigu Prescribed Body Corporate and the Malu Ki'ai Rangers. The database…

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The Cutting Edge: Climate and the People of the Caribou

The Cutting Edge: Climate and the People of the Caribou

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) is producing a new series of Native American climate documentaries along with our fourth series of Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program. These oral history, cultural arts and climate science series feature the rich voices of more than 40 exemplary Native elders,…

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Pulya-ranyi: Winds of Change

Pulya-ranyi: Winds of Change

Milpirri is a Warlpiri way to get country to express itself. Country is expressing itself all the time. All around Australia, Indigenous people, culture and art express (in various forms) what animals, plants and the elements, including weather and the seasons themselves—look like and speak like…

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Traditional Governance and Constitution Making among the Gitanyow

Traditional Governance and Constitution Making among the Gitanyow

This paper is a report on traditional governance and constitution making among the Gitanyow people prepared for the Gitanyow and for the First Nations Governance Centre. The Gitanyow are well along in the development of a national constitution based on traditional governance, and this paper will…

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Development of a Kaupapa Maori Governance Model from a Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

Development of a Kaupapa Maori Governance Model from a Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

Kaupapa Māori sets the theoretical framework within which ideas and research about governance were explored. This review incorporated both indigenous and non-indigenous governance literature. This set the scene for interviews with six key informants with Māori who are knowledgeable about…

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The Gitanyow Ayookxw: The Constitution of the Gitanyow Nation

The Gitanyow Ayookxw: The Constitution of the Gitanyow Nation

WE are the Gitanyow peoples. We have a long-standing and rich oral tradition which speaks to all aspects of our lives. This written Constitution must be interpreted and understood in the context of our oral history and oral traditions... THEREFORE, by virtue of our inherent right to govern…

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Betting on a School

Betting on a School

Ninety miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains, a school for Native American children peers down onto its main benefactor, a glittering, Las Vegas-style casino and hotel owned and operated by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Millions of dollars spent in the casino by…

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Navajo Cultural Identity: What can the Navajo Nation bring to the American Indian Identity Discussion Table?

Navajo Cultural Identity: What can the Navajo Nation bring to the American Indian Identity Discussion Table?

American Indian identity in the twenty-first century has become an engaging topic. Recently, discussions on Ward Churchill’s racial background became a “hotbed” issue on the national scene. A few Native nations, such as the Pechanga and Isleta Pueblo, have disenrolled members. Scholars such…

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Asatiwisipe Aki Management Plan

Asatiwisipe Aki Management Plan

The Asatiwisipe Aki Management Plan arises from several earlier initiatives by Poplar River First Nation. Poplar River has completed a variety of studies for the planning area, including traditional knowledge and community history interviews with Elders, traditional land use studies, archaeological…