off-reservation citizens

Potawatomi Leadership Program

Year

Proud of the increasing number of citizens pursuing college degrees, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) leaders became concerned that their talented students were not getting enough education in what it means to be Citizen Potawatomi. To nurture the nations’ future political leadership, the tribe launched the Potawatomi Leadership Program, which gives students an unforgettable “crash course” in CPN government, economy, and culture. In doing so, program graduates are armed withthe cultural and political knowledge they need to become the leaders they were born to be.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

"Potawatomi Leadership Program." Honoring Nations: 2014 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2011. Report.

Residence, Community Engagement, and Citizenship: How do non-resident tribal citizens connect with Native nations?

Year

The research draws from an online survey targeted primarily at younger tribal citizens living away from tribal lands; this project provides preliminary insight into 1) non-resident citizens' engagement with their tribes, and 2) the ways tribes might connect more effectively with non-resident citizens, should they choose to do so.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Schultz, Jennifer Lee, Stephanie Carroll Rainie, and Rachel Rose Starks. Residence, Community Engagement, and Citizenship: How do non-resident tribal citizens connect with Native nations? Connecting Across Distance & Difference: Tribal Citizenship in a New Era. The NCAI Policy Research Center Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum. National Congress of American Indians Mid Year Conference. St. Paul, Minnesota. June 30, 2015. Paper.

Stephen Cornell: Creating Citizens: A Fundamental Nation-Rebuilding Challenge

Producer
William Mitchell College of Law in conjunction with the Bush Foundation
Year

NNI Faculty Associate Stephen Cornell discusses how colonial policies have distorted and corrupted Native nations' conceptions of identity, citizenship and nationhood, and stresses the need for Native nations to forge a strategic vision of their long-term futures and then work to create among their people "citizens' committed to and capable of creating those futures.

This video resource is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Bush Foundation.

Resource Type
Citation

Cornell, Stephen. "Creating Citizens: A Fundamental Nation-Rebuilding Challenge." Tribal Citizenship Conference, Indian Law Program, William Mitchell College of Law, in conjunction with the Bush Foundation. St. Paul, Minnesota. November 13, 2013. Presentation.

"Well, thank you all for being here. And I want in particular to thank the Bush Foundation and the School of Law, the Mitchell School of Law for putting this together and also acknowledge the first peoples of this piece of country, this piece of this magnificent continent. [I see I'm not yet quite there.]

I have found the discussion we've had already very interesting and I think it's unfortunate what's happened to this discussion of citizenship. And I think Bethany [Berger] did a really nice job of showing us the intrusion of outsiders' ideas of what citizenship should be and mean and the way that that has come to dominate the discussion of citizenship so that you -- whose citizenship and lives are at stake -- end up talking about blood quantum and other criteria which I don't think were ever -- as John [Borrows] has really shown -- were ever part of the way you thought about who you are. But that now dominates the discussion and the intrusion of the notion of boundaries. Gee, you either are or you aren't part of a people. How do we know? Because I went to court and the judge said. Is that really the way things should be? And then the counter to that intrusion and that transformation, that demand that you think about who you are in a particular way, then John presented a very different notion of citizenship as an expression of who you are as a people, of what kind of people you want to be. Not just what kind of people you were, what do you want to be? And that's a very different discussion, and I think it's unfortunate that a lot of the discussion of citizenship now is really bogged down in that first set of ideas and it needs to move to that second set that John really articulated for us. That said, my job, I was asked to...I want to do a couple of things here. I want to say something about what's happening across Indian Country in this area, and that's going to be just exactly the sort of criteria that have unfortunately come to dominate this discussion. And I want to say a little bit about some of the issues to think about as you wrestle with those criteria, but then I want to...I want to come back to what I think is important and that's something I'll talk about called 'creating citizens.'

So I'm going to give you some data. And unfortunately, this podium is beautifully placed so that half of you can't even see this and probably the other half can't read it because it's too small. But this is some of the citizenship criteria in Native nations. Now it turns out it's not easy to get a comprehensive view, maybe Matthew Fletcher or someone else knows of a place where you can find out all of these criteria. The best source I've come across was actually work done by Keith Richotte back in about 2007, when he went through a lot of tribal constitutions to track what they say about citizenship and how that's changed as constitutions changed. Tracked really some of the processes that you all are involved in and the point of this chart is really just to show you that today it's incredibly diverse out there from various kinds of blood quantum and what I've done is give you the criteria on the left and some examples of nations within the U.S. who are using those criteria or some version of them. And that list down the left, which matters much more than the examples begins -- for those of you who can't quite see it -- blood quantum; lineal descent from a base tribal roll; lineal descent and blood quantum in some sort of combination. We've got lineal descent and residency, that is, you have to show lineal descent and either your or your parents had to be a resident; a minimum percent of tribal or Indian descent–Bay Mills sets a percentage and says this is what you need to be a citizen; patrilineal descent; matrilineal descent; parental tribal residence at birth, that you don't see as much anymore, but there's still some nations that use that; participation in tribal affairs. I actually thought that was kind of an interesting one. Colville: you want to be a citizen, you better be involved, be engaged. Council discretion: Hey, we'll make up our minds, decide whether you are or not. General council discretion: open to a much larger body of already recognized citizens to decide. Comanche has special rules for minors. Nez Perce, Warm Springs allowing for adoption and naturalization.

In other words, there's a very diverse set of criteria currently existing out there. Which ones are the most common? Well, most include descent from a tribal member or citizen. Some include no further requirement. About 25 percent of tribes according to what Keith Richotte, Carole Goldberg, Ian Record, and others have been able to come up with, about 25 percent of tribes in the U.S. require descent from a tribal member, period. Parental tribal residence at birth still is a fairly large number, about 20 percent. One-quarter blood quantum is over 20 percent. One-half blood quantum less than 10 percent today. A quarter-blood quantum plus parental residence at birth less than five percent. One-eighth blood quantum, one sixteenth -- there are other criteria involved but the percentages get much, much less. They are getting rare. So while there's enormous diversity out there, there are dominate patterns and these are the things you see. What's the pattern of change, emerging trends? Reducing blood quantum, everyone's wrestling with the intermarriage question. If my nation requires one-half blood quantum, it's not going to take more than a generation or two before my children -- unless I marry someone else who is also a citizen of my nation by that criterion, or ideally someone who's full blood -- before I can't enroll in my own children in my nation.

I was talking to an Apache...a citizen of one of the Apache nations the other day and he was saying, 'My children are Apache, but I married outside the White Mountain Apache Tribe.' I can't remember whether it was Jicarilla or San Carlos Apache or who, married another Apache but not of that tribe, and as a result, he said, 'My kids can't be enrolled in my nation. They're as Apache as I am.' That's the result of this intrusion, this creation of boundaries that slashed their way right across peoples and said, 'Okay, you've got to set some criteria and then you've got to abide by them,' and now a lot of tribes are reducing blood quantum because as the generations pass they're starting to disappear so you've got to reduce the blood quantum in order to keep people within the boundary. Replacing blood quantum with lineal descent -- that's happening at a lot of places. From tribal blood to Indian blood, that is, we require Indian blood but not necessarily tribal blood. Growing attention to off-reservation representation and how you keep people not only as citizens, but engaged as citizens off reservation.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's council. They recently redid their constitution. Any citizen, enrolled Citizen Potawatomi citizen, can participate in tribal affairs whether you live in Los Angeles or in Shawnee, Oklahoma where the tribal headquarters are. Their constitution, they have I think it's a 16-seat legislature. Eight members of that legislature have to be resident in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma and the other eight can be resident anywhere in the United States. So they do their council meetings with video screens on the wall so that the councilor in Los Angeles -- where they have an office and who was elected to the council -- can participate real-time in the debates, vote, etc. And their argument is, 'We want to keep our people part of the nation, not just by saying yes, you're a citizen, by actually engaging you in what it means to be part of the nation.'

Dual citizenship: we're also seeing some tribes saying, 'No dual citizenship.' I don't know where that one is going. Unique sets of citizenship rules, that is, Grand Traverse is breaking away from some of the general patterns and creating its own rules. And of course we're seeing some of this extremely controversial and I think extremely dangerous phenomenon of disenrollment. What we're beginning to see now in California is people who've been disenrolled demanding that the federal government step in. That's the last thing tribes need is the federal government stepping in and saying, 'Okay, we'll decide who's a citizen.' But that's what's going to happen if it keeps on because there's going to be a large enough group of disenfranchised people saying, 'Who else are we going to appeal to? We'll appeal to the feds,' and there goes some of your sovereignty because the feds say, 'Okay, we'll take over this issue.'

So those are some of the things that are going on out there. As I say, the work that Keith Richotte did is about six years old. Carole Goldberg at UCLA has done some work on this a little more recently, but it's actually very difficult to find out exactly what's happening across the country, but I think this gives you some idea of some of the things that are going on. These things have real-world effects. When you change these things, and I think this is what...for some nations, I think the move to wrestle with citizenship criteria comes from some crisis. Either we get people demanding, 'I want my children enrolled,' so okay, we better fiddle with the citizenship criteria. Or there's a court case or there's a settlement and there's fighting over the benefits of the settlement or something like that. And very often, councils are under pressure to launch some kind of rethink of citizenship criteria without really sitting down and saying, 'What are the consequences of this action across the board?' And of course, some of these things are obvious. I think there's a consequence on numbers, that's perhaps the most obvious one.

As you loosen criteria, the numbers potentially increase; as you tighten them, the numbers potentially decrease. Does that matter to you? It's certainly got impacts on things like tribal capacities. Excluding someone is excluding a body of knowledge, a body of experience. Incorporating someone is bringing in knowledge and experience. What impact does the change in citizenship criteria have on your nation's capacity to do the things it wants to do? Political influence may be affected by this and not just by numbers, but in a sense you're...how you're viewed by outsiders may be affected by changes that you make in citizenship. The defense of sovereignty -- that's part of the disenrollment issue. What impact is this likely to have if we spin out the consequences of action? What impact is this going to have down the road on our ability to control what may be one of the most important aspects of nationhood, defining who we are? That should always be in your hands, not in someone else's, but you may take actions that make it harder to defend that sovereignty.

Compliance with federal regulations: there are federal programs, for example, including programs on which some of your citizens may depend to get through the winter, to survive, to meet the needs of their kids, where the federal government imposes regulations that your citizenship criteria may come into conflict with. On the unity and social cohesion of your people, on culture, and I think on self concepts, rigid technical and legalistic criteria versus the sense in the community of what it means to be a citizen, of those things that John just talked about. And I actually think that may be the most important of all these effects: What is the impact of the decisions you make about citizenship on your people's sense of what it means to be a citizen?

John mentioned some of what's happening in New Zealand. In August, I was teaching a course at a tribal college in New Zealand and for a group of Maori working tribal professionals who are working for their tribes in New Zealand. And I was struck by the fact that a couple of people were talking about their, who I would think of as the citizens of their tribes, as beneficiaries. They were beneficiaries of settlements; settlements over land claims and claims to fish into the four shores of New Zealand. And I asked them, 'Do you all really talk about your people as beneficiaries?' And they said, 'Well, that's kind of how the New Zealand government talks about them.' And we ended up talking about, what does it mean to be part of a tribe if you think of yourself as a beneficiary? I get something. It's like listening to radio station WIIFM, What's In It For Me? I'm a beneficiary. That's a limited conception of what it means to be part of a people, and I thought a really unfortunate conception of that. We need to find a balance somewhere between citizenship as rights and benefits and about me as an individual and citizenship as obligation and contribution and participation and as an expression of this collective consciousness, this collective understanding of who you are as a people. And what you do in citizenship is going to affect both ends of that continuum, but when I heard that term 'beneficiary,' I thought, 'Well, I know where at least those few people are. They're way over at that end.' Bad place to be for the future of a people.

And I don't know how many of you know Oren Lyons. I had an interesting conversation with Oren Lyons about seven or eight years ago. Oren is a traditional faith keeper of the Onondaga and a remarkable man, one of the architects of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, and we were talking about this term member and Oren, I thought...He said to me, 'Tell me something.' He said, 'Are you a member of the United States? Are you a member of the State of Arizona?' He said, 'At Onondaga we're not a club. We don't have members. We're a nation. We have citizens.' And I thought that's an important change in how you think. To be a member of something, what do I get? I get the magazine, I get a discount at the store, I get all these goodies because I'm a member. But if I'm a citizen, that raises questions about what do I give, what am I part of? It's about the thing itself, the nation, rather than about this flow of benefits to me.

I think the biggest challenge is not deciding eligibility criteria. You're having to do that, you live in a political and legal context where that's demanded of you. So you have to do it and you have to be smart about it and you have to think very carefully about what the consequences are of your decisions. But I think there's a much bigger challenge in this whole area of citizenship and I call it 'creating citizens.' Do you think about what it's going to take to create the kind of citizens that your nation needs? And I think that's really a strategic question. It has to do with what kind of community or nation do you want to be 25 years from now, 50 years, seven generations, whatever the time horizon is that makes sense to your people? What kind of community do you want your grandchildren to grow up in? What kind of citizens do you want your grandchildren to be? So when I talk about creating citizens, I'm not talking about adding to the roles or increasing your numbers. I'm talking about creating that future by creating people who can live it. If you know what kind of future you want, what kind of citizens will that require? Do you know? Have you thought about that and about how you'll create those citizens? And I think of that as something that...

In the work that I, and some of my colleagues, have done, we talk a lot about nation building, or as Oren Lyons says, 'nation rebuilding,' and I actually think this business of creating citizens is a fundamental part of it and it raises this question of, do you have a plan for creating citizens? And that would include things like language, culture, ceremony. The Cherokees investing...scavenging money from tribal programs so they can get their kids into immersion classrooms where they will learn their language and creating a school system where the teaching will all be in Cherokee. That's part of creating citizens.

History: I'll use the Cherokees again because I think this was another creative thing they did. Every employee of the Cherokee Nation -- whether you're a citizen or not -- has to take a history course on the Cherokee Nation's history and the chief of the nation -- the Cherokee, they call the top guy the 'chief' -- the chief of the nation said, 'We do this because we want to be sure everyone understands what's at stake here, what we've been through, what we lost, what we kept. When you work for us, what grand purpose are you serving? So we teach our history.' That's part of creating citizens.

Tribal civics: some of you know Frank Ettawageshik from the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa, and Frank talks about tribal civics. He says, 'My kids know the capitol of this state, they can tell you the major rivers in the state, but they don't know anything about tribal government. They don't know what it's about because none of our schools teach any of that stuff.' He says, 'We need a tribal civics course that teaches you why we have a government, what it does, what nationhood means. That ought to be in our school system.' That's creating citizens. What's the role of elders in creating citizens, of youth, of tribal leadership in creating citizens? And do your citizens know what citizenship actually means? Maybe that's a discussion -- which, as you go through some of these processes of rethinking citizenship -- maybe it needs to be a community discussion not about legal criteria or technical details, but about what citizenship means or what you hope it will mean 50 years down the road.

I was reminded...I was chatting with a good friend who's from one of the more traditional Pueblos in New Mexico last week and we were talking about...I had mentioned that I was going to be at this discussion of citizenship and we were actually talking about the fact that this Pueblo still practices banishment. It happens very rarely. In fact, he told me it hadn't happened in probably a dozen years but I thought it was interesting, banishment means excluding someone from the Pueblo, and I guess the legal version of it in some places today would be disenrollment, but what I thought was interesting was the discussion about what happens. Banishment doesn't have anything to do with whether you're descended from the tribal roll, it doesn't have anything to do with blood quantum in this Pueblo, it doesn't have anything to do with any of that. He said, 'The question is, can you live as a responsible citizen of our nation.' And he said, 'We have some people who engage in behavior that is unacceptable among our people and we have a process...' It's not written down. This is a nation with no written constitution, it governs in a very old way. He said, 'We have a process. You correct the person. You sit them down, you talk to them, you say, "You are not behaving the way we expect of our people," and you give them a chance to correct that. And if they continue to show that they can't do it, you do it again. You do it with elders, you do it with their relatives. You do it three times and if after three times they still demonstrate that they cannot live as a responsible part of our community, then they have to go because they're a destructive force in the community.' And he said two things I thought were interesting about that. He said, 'We can't think of a more extreme punishment because what you're saying to them is, "You can't come home again, ever." But it's not about blood quantum, it's not about descent. It's about, 'Can you participate fully and responsibly in our notion of what it means to be a citizen?' And maybe that's more the discussion that we need to be having when we talk about citizenship. Thank you very much." 

Jill Doerfler and Carole Goldberg: Key Things a Constitution Should Address: Who Are We and How Do We Know? (Q&A)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Presenters Jill Doerfler and Carole Goldberg field questions from seminar participants about the various criteria that Native Nations are using to define citizenship, and some of the implications that specific criteria present.

Resource Type
Citation

Doerfler, Jill and Carole Goldberg. "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: Who Are We and How Do We Know?" Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 3, 2013. Q&A Session.

Mike Burgess:

Mike Burgess from Pawnee Nation College. My question is to both either yourself Jill [Doerfler] or Dr. [Carole] Goldberg. In your research and findings, had there been any discussion on consolidation of tribal blood quantum and make it all one tribe?"

Carole Goldberg:

"By consolidation, you mean looking at people who have blood quantum from a variety of different tribes?"

Mike Burgess:

"If a member is not enough of your blood quantum, but they have more than enough to be a quarter blood, half-blood, even full-blood Indian, which is happening to a lot of our children in Oklahoma, they're full-blood Indian, but can't get on any roll."

Carole Goldberg:

"Right."

Mike Burgess:

"So if you're consolidating that and you recognize them as a member of your tribe and make them full-bloods or half-bloods, just your tribe only. Have any tribes approached that?"

Carole Goldberg:

"Not only have tribes proposed that, but I have actually seen it in some of the constitutions in California tribes where it may well be, for example, there are so many Pomo tribes in northern California. And you may not have descendance from this particular Pomo tribe, but in times past there was all kinds of intermarriage and kinship relations. And so the view of some of these tribes is as long as you're hypothetically one-fourth is from some Pomo tribe, they'll make you a member of this particular tribe so long as you don't also try to become a member of some other tribe. It's definitely being done. I wouldn't say it's widespread, but it's definitely being done."

Mike Burgess:

"Thank you."

Robert Hershey (moderator):

"It is. It is in a number of constitutions and membership ordinances that if you are a member of another tribe you cannot be a member of this particular tribe that you're trying to be included in. So that is something you'd have to look at either through your constitution or your membership ordinance and to change if that's the result you wanted. Yes, sir."

Ray Louden:

"Hi. I'm Ray Louden with Red Lake. This is for White Earth. How is the new constitution with White Earth going to affect the constitution with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, and then is the ultimate goal then for the White Earth Nation to be removed from...?"

Jill Doerfler:

"The White Earth Nation has tried for many, many years to engage the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in constitutional reform at the level of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and those efforts have not been fruitful. As I said, we've had efforts at White Earth for 30 years and we've tried to engage the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe throughout that time. Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has always -- well, I don't...not always -- they've had for a long, long time had a standing committee on constitutional reform. No actual action has come out of that committee for many years, and so ultimately White Earth citizens felt that we need to move on our own. It's unclear what will happen with regard to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, whether White Earth will still participate or how the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe will react to us having our own constitution."

Robert Hershey:

"Thank you. You're Red Lake, yes? Yeah. We have time for two more questions right now, the speakers at the microphones then we'll break for lunch. I want to make an announcement about lunch in just a minute. Yes."

Stephanie Cobenais:

"My name's Stephanie Cobenais from Red Lake. What are you deciding on how...what's going to be a descendant on your referendum stuff? What is it?"

Jill Doerfler:

"We haven't identified a base roll yet, which needs to happen. We sort of worked under the presumption that we'd use our current roll, but that isn't 100 percent clear. So a descendant would be somebody descended from a roll that will need to be identified."

Robert Hershey:

"Thank you. Yes, sir."

Audience member:

"How many tribal members do you have enrolled in your tribe?"

Jill Doerfler:

"Excuse me?"

Audience member:

"How many tribal members do you have on your rolls?"

Jill Doerfler:

"We have about 20,000 citizens right now."

Audience member:

"Wow, that's quite a bit. Yeah, we have 900 enrolled tribal members in our tribe but due to our blood quantum it doesn't allow...a lot of our tribal member...a lot of family members to be enrolled. I have a granddaughter that's six tribes. She has six tribal...she's six tribes anyway right now and she couldn't get enrolled with my tribe so she went to one of the other tribes that she represents and then she got enrolled there. But it was kind of a sad deal. But I liked your presentation and I like the way that you guys dealt with the lineal part and I think we got a lot of good ideas out of that and it made me think a lot, too, about our lineal part because here in Arizona...I know tribes here in Arizona it's a lot different here. I have family members from a lot of different tribes here from Arizona that...even some of these guys like, I'm Tonto Apache, I'm related to these guys over here. I'm related to a lot of people in the San Carlos Apache Tribe. And we have other tribes too like Yavapai, other Yavapais up north. My father is a northern Yavapai and his clan still exists. It's still up there. And then I'm also half, I'm a southern Yavapai too. So there's a lot of this stuff going on here in Arizona, it's like a big melting pot. I see a lot of that, but I saw a lot of good ideas in your presentation that really stood out to me and I think we're going to probably take some of that home to our tribe and just try to present it to our people and see what they think about it. I just want to thank you for your presentation."

Jill Doerfler:

"Well, [Anishinaabe language] thank you to you. That's wonderful to hear. I didn't have time...I'll just make one brief comment. I am not a demographer, I'm more the historian/literature-type person, but the tribe did hire a demographer to do a population study and even though...sometimes it sounds like 20,000 is a lot of people, but we are going to soon be reaching a stage where we just have an aging population at White Earth. Our death rate is going to be outpacing our birth rate and we're going to be moving towards declining numbers and so that's also motivating factor. Even though it seems like we're big, we're still really feeling a lot of impacts of blood quantum."

Robert Hershey:

"Thank you. Carole."

Carole Goldberg:

"There's just one brief observation that I wanted to make. For a very good reason we don't have members of the outside press here but if they were, I think they might be very interested in the fact that the word gaming actually has not appeared in any of these presentations about enrollment because there is such a misconception out there that is driving all of this discussion and it's really not, as I think we've seen..."

Robert Hershey:

"Can you share some of the experiences in your community of what you're dealing with regarding identity, membership, citizenship? Why do we have this distinction between "˜membership' and "˜citizenship'? What does "˜membership' mean to you? What does "˜citizenship' mean to you? These are some of the questions you're going to be dealing with when you...I could call on my students. Can I call on a member of the Pascua Yaqui Nation's council to...sorry, Robert, because you brought it up at lunchtime. There's an issue within your constitution that is kind of contrary to the membership rules that you've set out. Is this something that you feel like that you're going to have to attend to? Is the Pascua Yaqui Council going to have to attend to dealing with some of the divergent issues or the irreconcilable positions within a constitution?"

Robert Valencia:

"There's two things that affect our tribe and our current constitution. One is our tribe was very instrumental in the Law and Order Act, getting that together, but our constitution still is what it is and we...that gives us a one-year limitation on the sentencing and I think it was $5,000 on fines and such, and the other is the Membership Act. Our tribe has been...was recognized in 1978, recognized again in 1994, and with this membership bill it's something that in order to do what we want to because it's in the constitution, it was in the Act, we would have to change that. So those are the two pressing issues that we have, among others."

Robert Hershey:

"Thank you very much. But the reason I asked you to speak to this was because there was a contradiction in the constitution as to what the nation wanted to do with regard to its membership. It went to Congress. Now some of you may have, not the IRA [Indian Reorganization Act] tribes here, but you may have also some other federal act that has designated you into the federal recognition and the acknowledgement process, too. So those types of things are unique where you can get congressional acts to go ahead instead of going through the whole formal process amending the constitution and the Pascua Yaqui Nation has been successful in that regard."

Robert Valencia:

"That's right. Initially the Act establishing the tribe did say that we had to have a constitution and initially it was supposed to be in 1980. We didn't have one until about 1988 and we haven't changed it or modified it since that time."

Robert Hershey:

"Thank you very much. Kevin, we've been looking for you."

Kevin Dupuis:

"I have a question for White Earth and as being a former tribal executive committee member I can understand what you're saying and as a reservation business committee member now, the question I have, if the constitution is done with White Earth, is there a point where the tribal executive committee of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has to approve or disapprove that constitution? And the concern I have is this -- that if an individual reservation in the consolidation of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe writes their own constitution, do they become separated from the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe because the question I would have to that, if they have their own constitution they could not represent the membership of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe [as] their tribal executive committee member. Because our constitution that exists now, whether it be right, wrong, indifferent, it's the only document we have, and the concern with is if it can't be followed now, how is this going to go with the constitution coming from White Earth?"

Jill Doerfler:

"Right. We're definitely in new legal territory when it comes to the White Earth constitution and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe constitution and these are questions that we'll have to be exploring, especially this summer in consultation both with MCT staff attorneys as well as TEC members, White Earth attorneys and White Earth tribal council and exploring how can the MCT accommodate in some way. Can White Earth have its own constitution and can other MCT nations have their own constitution and still participate in the MCT in some way. Is that possible? These are sort of questions that we need to be working on answers to."

Kevin Dupuis:

"I understand it and I agree with you, just simple principle of federalism. It was discussed years ago in 2004 and I think all the way to 2006 that the tribe already has its own constitution, can we delegate that authority to the individual reservations to write their own constitution and be under the umbrella of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe? My concern is this, if you follow a constitution that you write under White Earth and White Earth adopts that, even through the principal referendum I need to ask myself as a tribal member, because I'm not enrolled in Fond du Lac. We're all enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Our enrollment papers go to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, not the individual reservations."

Jill Doerfler:

"Correct."

Kevin Dupuis:

"So an action like this, I'm asking at that point, you finish your constitution, it goes through a referendum vote with your people on White Earth. Is there a separation from White Earth from the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, because I can't see White Earth representing members of the tribe anymore if they have their own constitution."

Jill Doerfler:

"It will depend on what actions MCT wants to take. If MCT does nothing, that may be your question. If MCT does nothing, does White Earth essentially then separate? I would say the answer to that is most likely yes, but I'm not an attorney and I'm not here to give legal comment on that. These are issues that we're working on exploring."

Kevin Dupuis:

"Okay. Thank you."

Robert Hershey:

"If I may add something too. It implicates some other issues as well. One of the issues is, what is the Minnesota Chippewa constitution, the nations that are involved in it, is it a Secretarial approval constitution, to do amendments?"

Jill Doerfler:

"Yeah."

Robert Hershey:

"So even though there's a referendum, it doesn't automatically result in a new constitution if the new constitution and the...then you have to call for a Secretarial election, and so then there's a whole process that has to be put to the voters. Then that's also going to go ahead and implicate. Whether or not this becomes an example to the other nations or not as to whether they want to go ahead and adopt a new form of constitution, it could be very exemplary in that regard. And there are situations where in constitutions...the Tohono O'odham Nation for one, Hopi Tribe for another, that they have separate and distinct powers that like the districts here on the O'odham Reservation have their own sense. The Hopi constitution allows for the villages to establish their own constitutions as well. So this could be a number of ways to go ahead and satisfy some of the concerns that you were raising there and at the same time allow for that kind of semi-independence or quasi-independence and it could be a united affiliation of nations with separate and distinct constitutions. It could be an example to go ahead and formulate one type of a constitution if that's the way the people go. But it still is going to require after a referendum, it still is going to require a petition to the Secretary of the Interior to go ahead and have a Secretarial election."

Jill Doerfler:

"I should maybe clarify that our referendum, the plan is to proceed with that referendum via a Secretarial election."

Robert Hershey:

"Yes, please."

Pamela Mott:

"My name is Pamela Mott and I'm from the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. At lunchtime we sat with Navajo and the other Yavapai tribe and to our question who we are and how do we know, it all came down to a Creation story, "˜cause we all know people sitting here where we come from, how we were taught. The time I grew up, I grew up with a bunch of elders so everybody that I came with, we know who we are and where we're from, but when federal government came and gave us those IRA constitutions that we have today, we have to start changing and identifying ourselves. And I think one of the things at our table that we kind of agree with and I brought up was that when you brought up maximizing your numbers and talking about political, it had a concern to me as a Native American woman "˜cause we're raised like family and we take care of one another. I was wondering, it's so hard for me to understand why other tribes would make one tribal member less important than another one when you said you put restrictions on somebody living off the rez versus someone living on, because a lot of times we don't have the wherewithal to have jobs for educated tribal members and they have to go somewhere else to work or they have to go out of state to work. I have to use my family as an example. I have a nephew that's a doctor in mechanical engineering. There's no job for him on my little reservation, so he has to go. What makes him less of an important tribal member than somebody back home that doesn't have an education but is there working? And I think when you guys teach, as professors when you teach this to people or other Native students that are in your classes, every tribe is different, we're all different, so some of those things I think need to be brought out because I'm a leader for my tribe and when I have to go to [Washington] D.C. and fight for Native American rights or fight for...big one is gaming and you said gaming didn't come up. It is coming up because that's what we're fighting against now but a lot of the things stem...why would you want to make one person less than another when the way we were brought up we had to take care of everybody within the community? And there were adoptions. I know Navajo had talked about some adoptions they had and it depended on your history. If you took slaves in...we weren't mean people. We took care of those people, unlike when they brought the slaves. I understood back east the slaves were more happy to live with the Indians than they were with the non-Indians because they were treated better, they were incorporated as families and that's how we're brought up. So that was one of the things I think our table agreed with, it was kind of hard for me to understand why if there were tribes out there, why would you make somebody different than another based on whether you live within the reservation, whether you don't live in the reservation, because we get a lot of feedback from the people that don't live within my community because they're educated and they tell us, "˜This is what we're doing out here. How can you incorporate with the businesses on the reservation to help us be successful?' And those are some of the things I think that was brought up at our table and I wanted to share that. So I think when you guys are teaching you need to know that. A lot of it comes from our heart and family. We're not like the regular outside non-Indians because a lot of them, they just move. It's easy for them to get up and move one state to another and not have contact with their family members. It's not like that for us. We're always contacting somebody. My sister...I may not...she lives on the same reservation and she lives a hop, skip and a jump from me, but I call her every day or I go see her every other day or something and my children live...I have a son in Oklahoma and he calls me every single day just to let me know how he's doing, how we're talking. So a lot of times you guys don't incorporate that in your teaching, and I think...coming from us now maybe you guys need to start doing that or understanding the tribes."

Carole Goldberg:

"Thank you very much. Actually, I live in Los Angeles. My husband's tribe is in North Dakota, so I'm actually very familiar with the situation of living far away from one's home community. There are places where issues arise involving resource extraction. So there are places where there is a lot of potential money to be made by things like strip mining or various other forms of resource extraction. It has in some places created some tensions, not that people don't care about folks who live far away, not that people don't want to take care of them or stay in touch with them, but just plain old worries that the temptation to do things in the territory might be too great if you don't live there and so that's the source of the tensions that I was referring to over what do you do about folks who live in a place and want to make sure that it's not ruined by various forms of environmental strains and people who live far away and may not experience that. And that...but the variation is tremendous and there are places where that is not an issue and where there are not concerns about treating folks differently. What I was trying to do was give you some sense of the tremendous variety of issues that exist out there and only you can know whether those matter to your own community."

Robert Hershey:

"I'm going to add one thing here, too, just before and this was brought up at our lunch table with my students and they're very passionate about this as well. And if I may just digress just briefly into a little history lesson. Back in Jamestown Colonies with...we hear about Pocahontas, but we don't hear much about her father, which is Powhatan, who was the leader of a number of tidewater tribes in that region. During the treaty ceremonies that would go back and forth whether or not the attempted colonists would be allowed to stay there, there was a ceremony where the English wanted to put a crown on his head and they wanted him just to bend down a little bit so they could put the crown on his head. So the English were taking that as that he was declaring fealty to the crown of England. Now he wasn't thinking that. He was thinking that he was extending his empire. And what I heard from the woman that just spoke, and I thank you for those comments very, very much, is that those educated, those people that are off the reservation, they're contributing and they're bringing things back to your community. So it's very, very interesting how you can extend your empire out there and it doesn't just have to be that people living within a particular area, that's determinative, but it's about those relationships and those contributions that can be far and wide. So that was just something, so I appreciate those comments of what you said. Thank you. Sorry for the history lesson, it's just law professors."

Steve Cornell:

"Steve Cornell from the University of Arizona. For Carole Goldberg, Carole I was just wondering if you had any experience with tribes that are dealing with citizens who live outside U.S. borders with nations that were split by the border. Obviously it's a huge issue right here in southern Arizona with the Tohono O'odham people. There are Yaqui people south in Mexico, but it's also an issue for Mohawks, for some of the Blackfeet Confederacy and others, and have you seen any constitutions that directly try to address the citizenship of people who through no fault of their own are living on the other side of the U.S. border?"

Carole Goldberg:

"I actually have, because one of the communities that I've worked with is the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in northeastern Maine and a number of the people from the Houlton community, the Maliseet people are actually living in Canada and it is interesting to note that over time the international border has had the impact on communities or it can have the impact of creating a sense of division that would not have existed had that international border not been introduced. And this is a topic that required a lot of internal dialogue within this community. Are they really a part of us? Even though the kinship relations were pretty obvious, the language, the cultural tradition were common but there was this bit of unease about whether...first of all whether there was something that would be viewed wrong by outsiders of including these "˜foreigners,' I use that in quotes, as part of our tribe and there was also again this sense that there had been some separation over the years. And there was at the end of the day I think more receptivity to saying, "˜These are part of our families, these are part of our culture and community and we shouldn't arbitrarily say that they're outside because they're in another country'. But it was a very hard discussion."

Constitutions and Constitutional Reform - Day 2 (Q&A)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Presenters from the second day of NNI's "Tribal Constitutions" seminar gather to field questions from seminar participants on a variety of topics ranging from citizen education and engagement to the role off-reservation citizens can and should play in a Native nation's present and future.

Resource Type
Citation

Hill, Anthony, Ruben Santiestaban, Melissa Tatum, Joni Theobald, and Angela Wesley. "Constitutions and Constitutional Reform - Day 2 (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 4, 2013. Q&A session.

Audience member:

"I have a question for Ruben [Santiesteban]. When you were doing your process to teach your young people, did you have any opposition from anybody from your sitting council or from your community?"

Ruben Santiesteban:

"No, actually I didn't. The youth council had been around before; it just didn't have a facilitator. And so Joni [Theobald] in the Education Department, I was doing the Tribal AmeriCorps Program at the time and with the Education Department, and so during my volunteer hours, that was kind of my task to kind of bring some youth together. And the only...I'll tell you things I seen was, and you can probably...you guys know this, but some of the problems or issues that we face in Indian Country, what I seen was mostly with the parents. The parents, if I had anyone objecting, it was kind of them. Like, am I picking the right kids? It was open to everyone. I think you always get that. Are they the right ones? Are these the next leaders? What are they doing? What are their grades like? And I think it went way beyond that in the teachings that we were doing for them. And with the parents, what I got to see was that the generations that have come before us, especially my parents and their parents before, haven't had a chance to lead, haven't had a chance to make decisions of their own. And those are the bigger issues I guess I faced with working with the kids."

Joni Theobald:

"Sure. I think what we find in our community, and I'm sure in some of the others is when you have the youth moderating or leading or kind of taking charge, it neutralizes a lot of the, I guess, the turmoil or whatever, the disagreements. Even though you want positive, I guess, disagreement and discussion, it was a way for...you're on a certain type of behavior. With the youth council we also had expectations. In the beginning, when we first had the first year, some of that expectations went into strategically having them present in dress. We have a workforce investment and a youth component and some of you may have that WIA [Workforce Investment Act] program, but within mind with that we talked about what is professionalism? So our youth council would come to tribal council meetings or whenever they conducted business or came together, even during their meetings, they dressed what we call dressed appropriate, which with guidance we kind of...they all had their suits. We also financial supported that so whenever they present, they're dressed professionally. And I think when they're approaching council we have the council that...which it's not right or wrong, but have the plaid and have the t-shirts and I think they kind of almost...it gave them...the way they perceived and looked to our youth who were coming and presenting who were dressed up. So there were many things that I think even in presence and presentation that the youth council brought to the council and even the community."

Stephen Cornell:

"Other questions or comments?"

Joan Timeche:

"I have a question and this is to any of the presenters who, particularly the tribal representatives. You had to do a lot of one-on-one contact with the community and we know that it's not always in a positive environment. So did those people that were going out and doing the one-on-one contact or doing the public education with the citizens, did you have to go through any kind of training about how to handle...? There's always going to be that person out there who's going to yell at you and how to deal with that kind of stuff or how you talk to someone who just doesn't want to listen or pushes you off? I'm interested in what kind of skills and prep you had... people had to have before they went out and engaged with community."

Ruben Santiesteban:

"Okay, I'll take it. What I found out in Indian Country, especially on our reservation in Lac du Flambeau, it actually was good. I think when I campaigned I probably knocked about 700 doors and I felt that was the best way to go right in people's homes and talk about my different concerns and what I could do for the community and get their perspective. And it went really well for the ones...I think we just have to remember is people who generally don't like you just aren't going to like you anyway, but they listen anyway because they don't really talk until you're gone anyway -- that's usually the way it goes -- but they listened. And I think I turned a lot of minds because, unfortunately, in Indian Country we have the rumor mill and if you don't get out there, the perceptions of what someone may have told someone about you is all they're left with. So I do encourage you to get out there and talk to your community so that you can stamp out any of those things and represent yourself well. What helped me get through that kind of stuff was, I was a Kirby man so I sold Kirby vacuum cleaners and I knocked on a lot of doors; being in sales and marketing for a long time really helped me build that thick skin, but in Indian Country it actually goes pretty well. They actually do listen and welcome you into the home."

Angela Wesley:

"That's a great question, Joan. I think that in our community we didn't do that at first when we started with our constitution. When we got into our discussions around treaty because of what we did learn, we did make sure that we had some communication, specific communications training in a lot of areas for our team that went out there. I'd certainly recommend it to anybody who's going to do that just to give some safety and security to the people who are going to be going out and doing it. Another thing after this wonderful young woman that I talked to you about, one of the things I would never do again is send somebody out by themselves, if only just to be able to support each other and to be able to sort of verify information that's gone out and that kind of thing. People respond in different ways better to some people than they do to others. So I've seen other nations, and it's something that we've encouraged other nations to do as well, and they have brought in professionals to come in and talk about...do a little bit more of the formal kind of training. We didn't have the time or the resources at the time we were doing it and I think we just didn't really think about what we were getting into. It would have been very beneficial to have had that kind of training, especially for our younger people."

Anthony Hill:

"One of the important things is that all...you need to make sure all your task force members are on the same page because when they go out, you don't want one segment not getting the information that the other segment is getting. What we did in our group is before we went out for each public round of meetings or door-to-door sessions is we actually practiced in our committee meeting and we would have talking points. "˜These are the points that you want to hit when you go out in the community.' So that was really important. And when they reported, we had standardized reports for all the committee members to report the same information to different audiences so that no one is left out. I think that's really important."

Stephen Cornell (moderator):

"We've got a question here."

Audience member:

"Just kind of an expansion on some of those thoughts. Is there a role for like a campaign manager or lobbyist in the process of looking at, especially where your laws come from? We have off-reservation members and so the jurisdictions that they're in have different requirements; there's different people in offices that have their history. So I'm wondering is there an appropriate role for someone to help guide you in what their backgrounds are, their histories and really, who...partners exist out there? And then as far as like citizen participation, again, is there a role for expertise in marketing? It may sound like it's counter-intuitive, but we've really got to market to the citizens. Is there a role for professionals in marketing?

Stephen Cornell:

"Anyone? He wants to know if you're looking for a job."

Anthony Hill:

"If you'll recall, part of the action plan was to take us through the election itself. And so what was going to happen and our plan was once we turned over the document, we would switch into basically campaign mode -- yes, mode -- and that it would be our responsibility to go back out, let the community know the merits of this new constitution and urge them to support it. And that was...essentially that was going to be our job. Unfortunately, we never got around to doing it, but that was what we were planning on doing. So whether...it's questionable whether or not you want your committee or commission to undertake that effort because some people thought, "˜Well, you did your job in writing or drafting the new constitution, step back and let the people themselves decide for it,' but that was what our plan said. We never got to implement it. And we always had help from...we have a communications office with the community and they were always helping us put together our posters, our flyers, our newspaper inserts, things like that. So we were lucky we had those resources."

Stephen Cornell:

"Question here."

Mohammed Fardous:

"Hello. My name is Mohammad Ferdoz and my question goes to Mr. Anthony [Hill]. You mentioned a good point before in your speech that I was real attracted [to]. The question is here that how did you get the people involved with the government and constitution who are not on the reservation? And you said that you had a meeting with tribal members in Los Angeles and how did it help to have the people work on the reservation or to be involved with government institutions and government all?"

Anthony Hill:

"That's a good question. I'm going to get off this thing because it has...I'm sitting on springs. It's just my weight. It's really important to make sure you get those who don't live on your community involved and like I said, the way we did it, we did it in a number of ways. The eighth person that was on our task force was from the Phoenix area and we have a large presence in Phoenix. We reached out to our members in other areas across the country because our enrollment office let us use the addresses for all our enrolled community members so we got their addresses. And the only reason that we knew they were updated was because it's the same address you get your per capita check at so everyone knows, everyone updated their addresses so we knew they were right and we sent flyers out to them. We went to Los Angeles and San Francisco about three times during the course of this exercise. The first time was to acquaint them with the project, the second time was to get their input on a draft, then the third time was to present the final draft. The way we enticed people in the non-reservation areas was we brought along other tribal departments. We brought along the enrollment department and they brought their portable ID-making equipment. So those who needed a tribal ID but who couldn't physically come to Phoenix to get one, they came and they were able to get one. We brought along our elections department. If you wanted to update your elections file and your registration, you could do that there. So literally it was this bandwagon of people going from L.A. and going to San Francisco and it was like a circus. Somebody from another department ran into a bicyclist in San Francisco and the police got involved and we were, "˜I don't know those Indians over there.' So that's what we did. And we also kept in contact with them through the internet. We had a web page that we utilized and they were able to check back for updates. So that's the way we kept our tribal members informed off the reservation."

Mohammed Fardous:

"How could they help the government and was the [unintelligible] for people on the reservation because this is unfortunately a challenge for most of the tribes today because the tribal members just maybe immigrate or go to other places and maybe they don't have enough human resources or [unintelligible]. So how could this plan help the government?"

Anthony Hill:

"You mean the revised constitution, how would it help the government?"

Stephen Cornell:

"I think the question is how can those people who live off the rez help the government on the rez? How can they be beneficial to you?"

Anthony Hill:

"Okay, I get that point. Thank you. It's interesting because in our constitution it says, "˜If you are away from the reservation for 20 years, you are automatically disenrolled.' Now, that's a big...that's a lot of people and when we went out to the people who didn't live on the reservation, we pointed that out and says, "˜Technically, a lot of you, we could probably disenroll you.' Now the community has never done it. Let me be perfectly clear, we never did it. No one ever exercised it, no one ever sought to do it, but that's scared a lot of them and they wanted to see that taken out. The other thing was is that they were concerned because they were enrolled community members yet they weren't receiving the benefits that came with living on the reservation and they were saying, "˜Well, you're using my enrollment number to help get casino machines, but yet I don't get the benefit from it just because I choose either to live off the reservation or you have no place for me to live on the reservation.' And their concern was, "˜How do you include me in that? How do you include me in the education programs? How do you include me in the housing programs or the health programs,' things like that? So it brought a lot of people out and we actually brought some elected officials with us to these meetings and they were asking them, "˜How can you help us be more connected to the government and how can you help us because we need help off the reservation, too.' And that conversation started...I don't know where it went, because unfortunately our leaders never went back out after they sort of tabled the constitution. That whole thing kind of died out, but that's the sad part of the whole thing I think because we had a good dialogue going with them; they were eager to see us. I met some people who were my relatives that I didn't even know that lived in other parts of the country. It's an open book still and it's not finished yet, but that's where I guess I have to leave it."

Melissa Tatum:

"My husband is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation allows citizens who are outside the boundaries to vote and there are I believe it's two at-large representatives on the council. And what they do is they have set up a system that you can...there are official satellite communities where there's a critical mass of Cherokees who are living outside the boundaries and each satellite community has regular quarterly meetings. We have four meetings a year. They're on regular certain Saturday of the month. So people have it on their calendar, they expect it. Then the Cherokee Nation arranges programs, usually a potluck supper, but they bring representatives from council out, they have Cherokee history and culture classes, the at-large representatives come and speak and report on what's going on so that the satellite communities feel connected. So that's one way that Cherokee does it."

Stephen Cornell:

"Just to add to that very quickly ma'am before I come to you...there are a number of nations now doing this and we heard the first morning of Citizen Potawatomi, which has eight seats on their council from Potawatomi County, Oklahoma and eight seats, which can be filled by any Potawatomi anywhere in the United States and they run their council meetings with videoconferencing. So you'll have a Potawatomi councilor living in Los Angeles County participating in a council meeting on a video screen on the wall in the council chambers real-time voting on proposals, participating in the debate. And what Citizen Potawatomi says is, "˜Any service available to a resident, to an enrolled Potawatomi from this nation should be available to any enrolled Potawatomi no matter where you live.' So they have a home ownership loan program, they've got a small business startup program; they funded Potawatomi citizens to start businesses in Phoenix, in Kansas, all over the place. So that's part of their effort to do exactly I think what Anthony is talking about, re-link all these people to the nation and give them a sense that they have a stake in your future and the future of the nation where you are and there's power in that. Yes, ma'am. Sorry. Go ahead."

Audience member:

"I just have a comment to make to his question, too. When you have tribal members that are living off the reservation, because we have a lot in Fort McDowell that are in other states, we treat them like a regular...they're treated equally as anybody else living within our boundaries of the reservation because those people, most of the time, are going to be your most educated people because they have to follow other rules that you don't follow within your tribal government. Those people are very big assets to your community and all the tribes you should understand that because we use those people. Because when we have to go to D.C. to fight, a lot of those other senators sit on Indian Affairs commissions and boards and other things and you use those people that say you have a senator from Minnesota that's on an Indian Affairs. You tell your tribal member, "˜Write to your senator on behalf of your tribe over here because we have something going on in Arizona that we need their vote.' So that's why to us it's important on our reservation that we treat everybody the same because we use them, they're assets to our community and I think a lot of...like I brought up before, I didn't know there were tribes up there that had different classes of tribal members that whether they don't give you benefits or they don't because in our...in Fort McDowell ever since I was little, I've always known our Yavapai people to treat everybody the same because we're all family oriented and we don't tell one person, "˜Because you don't live here or you haven't been here that you're limited, your benefits are limited.' At one time that was brought up, but I'm proud of my elders that stood up and said, "˜No, those people are important just like you and we have to treat them the same.' And like you said, like us, we use them for very important things because we know that they know how to live off the reservation versus me as a tribal member that lives on the reservation. We have many benefits on our reservation and some of our tribal members, I don't think they could make it if they lived off in the city of Phoenix and Mesa because they got a lot of taxes they got to pay, city taxes, trash tax, water tax, all these other things that sometimes in the tribe it's a benefit to you. And sometimes you have to rely on those people, but that's just a comment that I wanted to let you know that on our tribe a lot of our people living on and off...the people off the reservation are very important to us."

Stephen Cornell:

"And I bet this lady on hold here, ma'am do you have a comment or a question?"

Audience member:

"When you're going out to your community members and talking to them about, educating them about a constitution, it says in the thing here that they'll say, "˜How does that impact my life?' What specific examples do you have that your people when they were talking to community members, what did they say to them that how this constitution impacts their life? Could you give any examples about that? Do you understand what I'm asking?

Angela Wesley:

"I'll start a little bit. It sort of ties in with the people that live away from home; when we do go away and have regular meetings with our people who live away from home, that's always the question is, "˜How is this going to impact me?' It really comes down to the constitution gives us the ability to make decisions for ourselves and like this lady was saying, just because people live...our people have been forced to live away from home doesn't mean they're not a part of us anymore. But the way our funding structure was from the Department of Indian Affairs is we were only allowed to spend money for people who were living at home. So that was something that we thought was really critical to us governing ourselves is that we would be able then to earn some wealth with resources that we were getting through treaty and to develop our economy so that we could start to provide services to people who live away from home, whether that be housing, health, education, increased medical services or dental services, that kind of thing, but we always said that's up to us. So many of those things were up to us and that we had to continue to have those conversations as we built our wealth so that the money is being put to where the people want it to be. In terms of reaching out to people and just talking to them and why we would do that, what they can bring, part of what we wanted to do with 85 percent of our people living away from home is to start to build that vision in our people, that just because you live away from home doesn't mean that your future generations aren't going to come back. Like you said, those educated people that are out there that can come with different skills to bring into our community when we start to be able to rebuild our economy. So we really wanted not just to make the linkage, but also to encourage people to start thinking about coming home. Our vision talks about strengthening our culture, strengthening our language, trying to reincorporate our traditional way of governing ourselves; people have to be home for us to do a lot of those things. So we wanted to start to build that notion in people's minds that yes, it will be possible. We don't have schooling right now, we don't have healthcare right in our community, but let's work so that we can so that we can start to attract some of those people to come back home and live comfortably in our territories. That's part of our vision is that our people are able to live at home. And we recognize that not everybody is going to do that, but we want more people to be able to do it."

How Can Tribes Relate to Off-Reservation Citizens Better? Study Aims to Help

Author
Producer
Indian Country Today
Year

How do you define “home?”

“Home is where one starts from” is one explanation, while another states, “Our feet may leave home, but not our hearts.”

Where you call home is especially important to Native Americans who have left the familiarity of where they grew up among fellow tribal members and moved to urban areas. How they stay connected with their past and what efforts their tribes make to stay in touch is the genesis of a recent pilot study on young adult tribal citizens living off the reservation...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Allen, Lee. "How Can Tribes Relate to Off-Reservation Citizens Better? Study Aims to Help." Indian Country Today. July 28, 2015. Article. (https://ictnews.org/archive/how-can-tribes-relate-to-off-reservation-citizens-better-study-aims-to-help, accessed July 18, 2023)

Oglala Sioux Tribe to issue IDs at tournament

Year

For the first time in its history the Oglala Sioux Tribe will bring its enrollment office to the public.

During this year’s Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City the tribe will have a booth set up to issue tribal IDs to enrolled members who may not have the opportunity to travel to Pine Ridge to get them...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Ecoffey, Brandon. "Oglala Sioux Tribe to issue IDs at tournament." Native Sun News. November 25, 2014. Article. (http://indianz.com/News/2014/015762.asp, accessed November 25, 2014)

Study Evaluates Young Native Adults' Connection to Tribal Lands

Producer
Andrea Kelly, Arizona Public Library
Year

University of Arizona master's student Aurora Trujillo is a member of the Taos Pueblo nation in New Mexico, a full-time resident of Tucson during the school year, and is working at an internship in Montana this summer. She is representative of other young adults who do not live on the tribal reservation land of their native nation, and two UA researchers are hoping to find out how people in a similar situation stay connected with their culture.

Jennifer Schultz and Stephanie Rainie are asking 18- to 29-year-olds from Indian Country to share information about their off-reservation lives. They work at the Native Nations Institute at the UA. The institute's projects aim to study tribal governance and share adaptable models of success among various tribes...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Kelly, Andrea. "Study Evaluates Young Native Adults' Connection to Tribal Lands." Arizona Public Media. July 16, 2014. Audio story. (https://www.azpm.org/s/21334-study-evaluates-young-native-adults-connection-to-tribal-lands/, accessed Jan. 23, 2024)

Metro Week: Native American Youth Desire Ties to Homeland

Producer
Arizona Public Media
Year

Arizona has 21 American Indian tribes, and 5.3 percent of the state population reports tribal membership to the U.S. Census Bureau. Metro Week explores Native American culture and education.

On the program:

  • The Native Nations Institute, a research unit at the University of Arizona, surveyed young Native Americans to find out how connected they want to be to their tribes. The short answer: they desire a affiliation with their heritage when they do not live on a reservation.
  • Andrew Martinez is a UA student and member of two tribes. He says it is his responsibility to be in touch with his tribes, and wants to work in tribal government after he graduates.
  • Some charter schools on reservations, or that feature American Indian culture, have come under academic scrutiny. AZPM reporter Mariana Dale explains.
  • The UA American Indian Studies Department is the first in the state to offer a bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree. We find out about the demand for the new bachelor's degree with professor Franci Washburn, who helped create the program.
Citation

"Metro Week: Native American Youth Desire Ties to Homeland" (Producer: Andrea Kelly). Arizona Public Media. August 8, 2015. Video. (https://news.azpm.org/p/news-articles/2015/8/7/69721-metro-week-stu..., accessed August 11, 2015)