self-governance

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Harvard Project Names 18 Semifinalists for Honoring Nations Awards

Harvard Project Names 18 Semifinalists for Honoring Nations Awards

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development recognizes exemplary tribal government initiatives and facilitates the sharing of best practices through its Honoring Nations awards program. On March 3, the Harvard Project announced its selection of 18 semi-finalists for the 2014…

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Preserving Indigenous Democracy

Preserving Indigenous Democracy

When Europeans first came to the Americas they took note of the democratic processes they observed in most indigenous nations. Indigenous political relations were usually decentralized, consensus based, and inclusive. Indigenous democracies may not seem remarkable by contemporary standards, but…

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Native nations and the rise of self-governance

Native nations and the rise of self-governance

The unmistakable resurgence of Native nations within the United States this past 40 years is often credited simply to self-governance. While certainly true as far as it goes, the progression from subjugation and the despair of a disenfranchised people to today’s Native governments, is one of the…

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Rebuilding Our Nations: Tips and Tools for Getting Started

Rebuilding Our Nations: Tips and Tools for Getting Started

LEARN ABOUT THE INHERENT RIGHT TO SELF GOVERNANCE. First Nations citizens and all Canadians should learn about our shared history. There is an important booklet on our website called A Brief History of our Right to Self Governance. It demonstrates how we possess the inherent right to rebuild our…

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Tribe Moves Slowly But Surely Towards a New Constitution

Tribe Moves Slowly But Surely Towards a New Constitution

The specter of a constitution has again risen in Cherokee, making its way to committee for the first time in 15 years. Tribal council last week voted to create a constitutional task force, the second step in a long process that will require discussions, debates and, should it reach the final finish…

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Nipissing First Nation passes first Ontario Aboriginal constitution

Nipissing First Nation passes first Ontario Aboriginal constitution

The Nipissing First Nation has passed a constitution that’s believed to be the only First Nations constitution in Ontario. But there are questions about what this document actually does for the community. The constitution was passed by the Nipissing First Nation with a vote of 319 to 56. Chief…

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Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee: NFN Gichi-Naaknigewin

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee speaks to Nipissing First Nation members about the importance of the Gichi-Naaknigewin (Constitution) and its relationship to community development.

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The 2013 Narrm Oration: Taiaiake Alfred

The 2013 Narrm Oration, "Being and becoming Indigenous: Resurgence against contemporary colonialism", was delivered by Professor Taiaiake Alfred on 28 November. Professor Alfred is the founding Director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.…

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Tribal Sovereignty: The Right to Self-Rule

This is an excerpt of a longer educational DVD produced to answer frequently asked questions about American Indian tribal governments and the roots of tribal sovereignty. Among other things, it discusses the U.S. Constitution's explicit acknowledgement of tribal sovereignty and Native peoples as…

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The Future of the U.S./Tribal Nations Relationship

The Future of the U.S./Tribal Nations Relationship

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development Co-Directot Joseph P. Kalt leads a moderated discussion with Native nation leaders about the state of the tribal-federal relationship. Held in 2007, the forum featured Jamestown S'Klallam Chairman Ron Allen, Mescalero Apache President Mark…

PBS "We Shall Remain": Spotlight on Sovereignty

The federal government today recognizes 562 Indian tribes as sovereign nations within the United States. Tribal members are citizens of the United States and subject to federal laws, but as sovereign nations, tribes have retained some rights to govern their own people. The limits of these rights…

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The Rez We Live On - Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Indian Reservation

The Rez We Live On

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes produced this series of online videos in an effort to dispel untruths about life on the Flathead reservation in Montana. Consisting of 10 short, graphically based videos on topics ranging from Sovereignty to Taxes, "The Rez We Live On" site is geared…

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Tsawwassen First Nation: Law and Policy

Tsawwassen's story about creating laws and policies after their historic treaty signing provides important insight for all First Nations who wish to develop laws and policy. 

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Nisga'a First Nation Circle of Governance

People of the Nisga'a Nation discuss custom and tradition before the Indian Act. They tell how they made the move back to traditional ways through strategic planning and abandoned oppressive ways of the Indian Act.

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Westbank First Nation Circle of Governance

The people of the Westbank First Nation share the history and process taken toward self-governance and how it has transformed their community.

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Chief Dale Awasis: Thunderchild First Nation

Chief Awasis of ThunderChild First Nation talks about traditional governance from before contact, Indian Act governance and how some nations are beginning to combine them into a third type of governance.

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

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

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

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2014 Native Youth Report

2014 Native Youth Report

In June 2014, President Obama embarked on his first presidential visit to Indian Country, where he and Mrs. Obama witnessed the tale of two Americas. Standing Rock Reservation, like many others, faces myriad social, economic, and educational problems. Together, those problems are coalescing into a…

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Muscogee Constitutional Jurisprudence: Vhakv Em Pvtakv (The Carpet Under The Law)

Muscogee Constitutional Jurisprudence: Vhakv Em Pvtakv (The Carpet Under The Law)

In 1974, a group of Mvskoke citizens from Oklahoma sued the federal government in federal court. Hanging in the balance was the future of Mvskoke self-determination. The plaintiffs insisted that their 1867 Constitution remained in full effect, and that they still governed themselves pursuant to it…

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Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability

Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability

In Indian country, the expansion of self-governance, the growth of the gaming industry, and the increasing interdependence of Indian and non-Indian communities have intensified concern about the possible abuse of power by tribal governments. As tribes gain greater political and economic clout on…