traditional governance systems

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Jerry Isaac: Native Leader Experiences in Alaska

Jerry Isaac has been on the forefront of shaping indigenous governance in Alaska as former President of Tanana Chiefs Conference, former Chief for the Native Village of Tanacross, and a Board Member of Doyon Limited.  He offers his perspectives about being a good leader and the various ways to…

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Sharon Toi: Honoring Maori Traditions and Governance

Sharon Toi is Ngāpuhi Māori and a 2014 recipient of a Fulbright Visiting Scholar-Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Graduate Award that funded her residency at the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program housed within the University of Arizona’s College of Law.  Sharon shares her extensive knowledge about…

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Richard Peterson: Leading in the Traditional Way Alaska Tribal Government Symposium

President, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Richard (Chalyee Eesh) Peterson is Tlingit from Kaagwaantaan clan.  He gives his prespective on the ways tribal governement makes a presence in Alaska and the intergrating traditional knowledge and culture into tribal…

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Governance and Wellness Roundtable

This discussion emphasizes the  connections between Indigenous self-government and wellness.  Western methodologies are eager to emphasize the gaps in wellness (social, economic, and medical and mental health outcomes) between natives and non-natives.  These gaps have been a strong justification…

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Indigenous Leadership Panel

What is going on in Alaska that exemplifies the success of Indigenous leaders? What are some Alaska tribes’ successful efforts to strengthen their governments and governance? Panelists share stories of success at asserting self-determination, building native governing institutions, reflecting…

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Roundtable: Traditional and Modern Governance and Decision Making in Alaska

A panel discussion with Native leaders in Alaska about the significance of tradition and culture that has influenced their Indigenous governance.

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Sharon Day: Disenrollment: Contemplating A More Inclusive Approach

Sharon Day (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa) makes a compelling case for Native nations to abandon externally imposed criteria for citizenship that continue to cause internal divisions within Native nations and communities and instead return to Indigenous cultural values and teachings predicated on…

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John Borrows: Revitalizing Indigenous Constitutionalism in the 21st Century

In this thoughtful conversation with NNI's Ian Record, scholar John Borrows (Anishinaabe) discusses Indigenous constitutionalism in its most fundamental sense, and provides some critical food for thought to Native nations who are wrestling with constitutional development and change in the 21st…

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Floyd "Buck" Jourdain: Constitutional Reform and Leadership at the Red Lake Nation

Floyd "Buck" Jourdain, Chairman of the Red Lake Nation from 2004 to 2014, discusses his nation's constitutional reform effort and the supporting role he played in helping to get the effort off of the ground. He also talks about how comprehensive constitutional reform will empower his nation's…

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Robert Innes: Elder Brother and the Law of the People: Maintaining Sovereignty Through Identity and Culture

Robert Innes, a citizen of the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, discusses how traditional Cowessess kinship systems and practices continue to structure and inform the individual and collective identities of Cowessess people today, and how those traditional systems and practices are serving…

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Justin Beaulieu: The Red Lake Nation's Approach to Constitutional Reform

Justin Beaulieu (Red Lake Nation), coordinator of the Red lake Nation Constitution Reform Initiative, provides a detailed overview of how the Red Lake Nation's constitution reform committee has designed and is implementing a methodical, strategic, comprehensive approach to reviewing and reforming…

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Richard Luarkie: The Pueblo of Laguna: A Constitutional History

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Laguna Governor Richard Luarkie provides a detailed overview of what prompted the Pueblo of Laguna to first develop a written constitution in 1908, and what led it to amend the constitution on numerous occasions in the century since. He also…

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Terry Janis: The White Earth Nation Constitutional Reform Process

In this lively and far-reaching discussion with NNI's Ian Record, Terry Janis (Oglala Lakota), former project manager of the White Earth Nation Constitution Reform Project, provides an overview of the citizen education and engagement campaign that preceded White Earth's historic vote to ratify a…

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Joan Timeche: The Hopi Tribe: Wrestling with the IRA System of Governance (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Defining Constitutions and the Movement to Remake Them," Joan Timeche (Hopi) discusses how the Hopi Tribe continues to wrestle with an Indian Reorganization Act constitution and system of governance that runs counter to its traditional, village-based system…

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Rebuilding the Tigua Nation

The Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in Ysleta, Texas produced this 16-minute film in 2013 to demonstrate how a Native American tribe can work hard with business skills and tribal customs to shape a prosperous future through education for all levels of the Tigua Nation.

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Brenda Child: The Red Lake Nation: Laying a Solid Foundation for Constitutional Reform

In this informative interview with NNI's Ian Record, Brenda Child, member of the Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Committee, discusses how the Committee has worked methodically to set in place a solid foundation upon which to engage Red Lake citizens about the Red Lake constitution and…

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Deborah Locke: Disenrollment: My Personal Story

Deborah Locke, adopted by a Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa couple when she was a small child, shares her heartbreaking story of how she and her adopted siblings were disenrolled by the Band decades later because they were not the biological descendants of Fond du Lac Band members and…

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Jennifer Porter: The Kootenai Tribe: Strengthening the People's Voice in Government Through Constitutional Change

Jennifer Porter, former chairwoman and current vice-chairwoman of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, discusses how her nation moved to amend it constitution to change its basis of political representation, how the U.S. Secretary of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) tried to block the move,…

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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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John Borrows and Stephen Cornell: Citizenship: Culture, Language and Law (Q&A)

Professors John Borrows and Stephen Cornell field questions from conference participants about a number of topics surrounding Indigenous notions of citizenship and membership. In addition, some participants provide brief commentaries about how their particular Native nations are wrestling with this…