practical sovereignty

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Patricia Riggs: The Role of Citizen Engagement in Nation Building: The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Story

Patricia Riggs, Director of Economic Development for Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (YDSP), discusses how YDSP has spent the past decade developing and fine-tuning its comprehensive approach to engaging its citizens in order to identify and then achieve its nation-building priorities. This video resource is…

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Karen Diver: Nation Building Through the Cultivation of Capable People and Governing Institutions

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Chairwoman Karen Diver of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa discusses the critical importance of Native nations' systematic development of its governing institutions and human resource ability to their ability to exercise sovereignty…

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Suzan Shown Harjo: Five Decades of Fighting for Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Determination

In this wide-ranging interview, longtime Native American rights advocate Suzan Harjo discusses her involvement in the development and ratification of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the legislation creating the National…

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David Wilkins: Indigenous Governance Systems: Diversity, Colonization, Adaptation, and Resurgence

In this in-depth interview with NNI's Ian Record, federal Indian law and policy scholar David Wilkins discusses the incredible diversity and sophistication of traditional Indigenous governance systems, the profound impacts colonial policies had on those systems, and how Native nations are working…

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

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

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Honoring Nations: Manley Begay: Reflections on the Day

Harvard Project on American Development Co-Director Manley A. Begay, Jr. synthesizes the learning that took place during the first day of the 2004 Honoring Nations symposium, focusing on the nation-building success stories chronicled during the day as testaments to and reflections of Indigenous…

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Chris Hall: Cultivating Constitutional Change at Crow Creek

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

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The Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development course series

This short video provides a comprehensive overview of NNI's "Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development distance-learning course series. The curriculum examines the critical governance and development challenges facing Native nations and surveys the breadth and diversity…

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Frank Ettawageshik: Exercising Sovereignty: The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Frank Ettawageshik, former chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBBO), discusses how LTBBO has systematically built its legal infrastructure in order to fully and capably exercise the nation's sovereignty and achieve its nation-building goals. He discusses some of the…

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Rae Nell Vaughn: Tribal Court Systems in the 21st Century: The Choctaw Tribal Court System

Former Chief Justice of the Mississippi Choctaw Supreme Court Rae Nell Vaughn provides a detailed overview of the growth and evolution of the Mississippi Choctaw's governance system and specifically its justice system, stressing the importance of Native nations providing a fair, effective,…

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Honoring Nations: Miriam Jorgensen: Lessons to Take Home

NNI Research Director Miriam Jorgensen concludes the 2004 Honoring Nations symposium with her impressions about the lessons learned from the convening, from the great diversity among Native nations to the great strides they are taking when they devise their own solutions to the challenges they face…

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Jamie Fullmer, Rebecca Miles and Darrin Old Coyote: Our Leadership Experiences, Challenges, and Advice (Q&A)

Jamie Fullmer (former Chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation), Rebecca Miles (Executive Director and former Chairwoman of the Nez Perce Tribe) and Darrin Old Coyote (Chairman of the Crow Tribe) field questions from seminar participants about how they have negotiated the fundamental challenges of…

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Honoring Nations: Stephen Cornell: Achieving Good Governance: Lessons from the Harvard Project & Honoring Nations

Co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development Stephen Cornell offers a review of how the Honoring Nations program evolved out of the nation-building movement and successes among Native nations.

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Jamie Fullmer: Taking a Strategic Approach at Yavapai-Apache Nation

Jamie Fullmer, former chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, discusses how his nation developed a strategic approach to tackling its nation-building challenges during his time in office. He stresses the importance of Native nations and leaders conducting comprehensive of the state of their…

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From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "The Role of Bureaucracies in Nation Building"

Native leaders discuss the critical role that bureaucracies play in Native nations' efforts to achieve their nation-building and community development priorities.

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The Bay Mills Case: An Opportunity for Native Nations

The Bay Mills Case: An Opportunity for Native Nations

On May 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court finally handed down its decision in the Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community case. The good news for Native nations is that the Court upheld the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity, opting not to carry out any of the doomsday scenarios many suggested could…

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Good Data Leads to Good Sovereignty

Good Data Leads to Good Sovereignty

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

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Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women. “We would literally drive them to the end of the…

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UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

University of Arizona alumnus Alfred Urbina, chief prosecutor for Southern Arizona's Pascua Yaqui tribe, has sat in front of families whose loved ones have been victims of violent crimes, only to say there is nothing that can be done. "I have had to face whole families and explain that we could not…

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Police Protection in CT Increases: Tribes Can Now Arrest Non-Natives

Police Protection in CT Increases: Tribes Can Now Arrest Non-Natives

On Friday, August 1, 27 members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police received the power to arrest non-Natives on tribal land. “Up until now they could only hold and detain non-tribal members until the state police could come and make the arrest,” William Satti, director of public affairs for…