Melissa L. Tatum

Good Native Governance Break Out 3: Tribal Constitutional Revitalization

Producer
UCLA School of Law
Year

UCLA School of Law "Good Native Governance" conference presenters, panelists and participants Melissa L. Tatum, Devon Lee Lomayesva, and Jill Doerfler discuss constitutional reform efforts. Melissa describes the purpose of consitutions. Using her own Nation's experience, Devon discusses the Iipay Nation's constitutional reform process. Dr. Doerfler talks about the White Earth Nation's recent consitutional efforts.

This video resource is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center.

Citation

Tatum, Melissa L. "Tribal Constitutional Revitalization." Good Native Governance: Innovative Research in Law, Education, and Economic Development Conference. University of California Los Angeles School of Law, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, March 7, 2014. Presentation.

Lomayesva, Devon Lee. "Tribal Constitutional Revitalization." Good Native Governance: Innovative Research in Law, Education, and Economic Development Conference. University of California Los Angeles School of Law, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, March 7, 2014. Presentation.

Doerfler, Jill. "Tribal Constitutional Revitalization." Good Native Governance: Innovative Research in Law, Education, and Economic Development Conference. University of California Los Angeles School of Law, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, March 7, 2014. Presentation.

Native Leaders and Scholars: Citizens Versus Members: Some Food for Thought

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Native Leaders and scholars discuss the pervasive role that terminology plays in conceptions of Native nation sovereignty and citizenship, comparing and contrasting the terms "member" and "citizen" and discussing the origins of the term "member" in Native nations' definitions of who is to be considered part of them.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Goldberg, Carole. "Designing Tribal Citizenship." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 3, 2013. Presentation.

Tatum, Melissa L. "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.

Timeche, Joan. "The Process of Constitutional Reform: Key Issues and Cases to Consider." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Carole Goldberg:

“You’ve often seen the word 'membership' used in lieu of 'citizenship.' The term 'membership' harkens back to something that Chairman Rocky Barrett of Citizen Potawatomi said in one of the earlier presentations you saw here today. There was in the development of tribal constitutions through the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 a view of tribes as, in some respects, corporate entities that would have boards and members. There was also a view of tribes as something akin to private associations or even clubs that would have members. The terminology of 'citizenship' evokes sovereignty and nationhood. I think it’s become more common for Native nations to use the terminology of 'citizenship,' but any constitution has to have, as you heard earlier, the legitimacy and acceptance of the people whose government it is and the terminology will have to fit comfortably for whatever community that is.”

Melissa L. Tatum:

“Tribes need to consciously claim the language of sovereignty when they’re reforming their government, and that means using separation of powers if it’s appropriate, if it’s a cultural fit, adopting some other means of allocating responsibility and government functions depending on the tribe. But it also means being conscious of how certain words and phrases are viewed by other governments. For example, the three that I often use as examples are in the United States, tribes talk about 'membership' and who’s a 'member' of a tribe. But private clubs have memberships, country clubs have memberships, governments have 'citizens.' So we should be talking about citizenship and who are citizens of the government. One of the things that’s used a lot -- I work a lot with tribal courts -- there’s a movement to develop tribal common law, or it’s sometimes called ‘custom and tradition’ and then when lawyers, Anglo-American lawyers, hear this phrase ‘custom and tradition,’ they’re like, ‘Oh, how quaint. Custom and tradition.’ But yet if you look at the definition of Anglo-American 'common law,' it’s the norms of society. That’s what custom and tradition is. So simply instead of talking about custom and tradition, talking about common law triggers a different response in outsiders, even though it’s the same thing internally. But the other example I use, since I work a lot in the tribal courts and the criminal justice system, is in the United States there’s been some discussion in recent years about ‘banishment’ and about tribes using banishment. But every government on this planet has a method of removing people who misbehave from their society. It’s just usually called ‘deportation.’ And so we need to be conscious of the words we use and the labels we put on things, because words do have power and do have meaning and we need to be conscious not only of internal fit, but how those words are received by the outside world, too…One thing that I’m very concerned [about] from my perspective as an Indian law scholar is when the word ‘member,’ and ‘tribal member,’ started being used frequently in the U.S. Supreme Court opinions, that’s when the court started drastically reducing tribal authority over its own territory, and it’s the only time the Supreme Court has really started consistently reducing the authority of a government over its territory, is by introducing this word ‘member’ frequently into the dialogue, and so that’s one of my concerns, too.”

Joan Timeche:

“I was fortunate in that I was able to be raised in Hopi values that we’re to be self-sustaining, contributing members, citizens of our society and that we as individuals, we have responsibilities. Yes, we have rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. And I think that sometimes we take those things for granted, they’re not written, they’re taught to us by our parents, our elders, our grandparents and our societies that we may be part of. Those are all engrained in us and we don’t necessarily see it on paper, and we forget that it’s there because we’re bombarded by everything coming at us from all sides, and just the world as it’s changing, quickly changing every day. So I think that if you think about some of the message that Regis [Pecos] was sharing with us yesterday, it’s going back and taking that time to find out and remember and reinforce or reiterate, ‘Who are we? What do we believe in? What are our core values and who bears that responsibility to do that?’ Because nobody is going to do this for us except us. It’s going to be me, it’s going to be people individually in my family. Each one of us bears that responsibility, and so we may write them in our constitution -- that was one of the proposed revisions in the Hopi constitution, this latest version, is to include an extensive list of a Bill of Rights. But there was no mention whatsoever about what our responsibilities were as individual citizens. So I think that’s something -- I would really like to see that being added to my constitution.”

Melissa Tatum: Striking a Balance on What to Include in Your Constitution (Presentation Highlight)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

In this highlight from the presentation "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: 'How Do We Resolve Disputes?'," legal scholar Melissa Tatum discusses the importance of a Native nation striking a balance between what to include in its constitution and what not to include in its constitution so that it retains the ability to respond in a timely fashion to changing circumstances.

Citation

Tatum, Melissa. "Striking a Balance on What to Include in Your Constitution (Presentation Highlight)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 4, 2013. Presentation highlight.

"To what extent are you going to recognize -- this is an odd question, so let me take just a second to explain the background of this one. To what extent are you going to recognize or corporate external limitations on the tribal authority in the constitution? This has become a big deal as of the last two years and particularly the last two weeks in the United States. The federal government through the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act put limitations on tribal governments, imposed certain individual rights and also put sentencing limitations. Some tribes have incorporated those procedures in their constitution, some of them just have a general reference that says, "˜All powers not forbidden by the U.S. Federal Government,' some just don't mention external limitations at all. But some tribes that have specifically listed limitations such as sentencing limitations are now facing the fact that, if they want to take advantage of the extra sentencing authority finally restored in 2010 by the Tribal Law and Order Act, they have to amend their constitution, which is not an easy thing to do. Some of the tribes explicitly put in their constitution that they don't have jurisdiction over non-citizens.

Now, in light of the VAWA [Violence Against Women Act] reauthorization two or three weeks ago, if they want to exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence and sexual assault on the reservation, they have to amend their constitution. So, as was mentioned yesterday, there's a balance between what to put in the constitution, because that makes it difficult to change, and what to keep to court to statutes and rules and regulations that are easier to change. Some things you want to be difficult to change, some things you don't want to be difficult to change, and the balance is different for each tribe and each First Nation. So that's something you have to think about, but be careful about putting in explicit external limitations, because if the external body changes those limitations, you now have to amend your constitution if you want to exercise those additional powers." 

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."

From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "What Strong, Independent and Legitimate Justice Systems Require"

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Native leaders and scholars discuss what Native nations need to do to create strong, independent and culturally legimate justice systems.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Fineday, Anita. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. August 5, 2010. Interview.

Jorgensen, Miriam. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Spearfish, South Dakota. Apil 19, 2011. Interview.

LaPlante, Jr., Leroy. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. August 12, 2010. Interview.

Laverdure, Donald "Del". Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. August 12, 2010. Interview.

McCoy, John. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Cambridge, Massachusetts. September 18, 2009. Interview.

Tatum, Melissa L. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. January 25, 2012. Interview.

Vaughn, Rae Nell. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. September 15, 2009. Interview.

Yazzie, Robert. "Why the Rule of Law and Tribal Justice Systems Matter" (Episode 3). Native Nation Building television/radio series. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy and the UA Channel, The University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. 2006. Television program.

Leroy LaPlante, Jr.:

“I think a strong, independent tribal justice system, first of all, is tribal. I think that it should be tribal in the sense that it knows how to deal with tribal issues. And yet it’s diverse enough to handle and adjudicate all matters that come before it. I think you should have competent judges. I think that you should have strong advocacy for clients. And it must have a way of measuring its performance. But yeah, a strong tribal system should be tribal in nature. In other words, what I mean by that is, it shouldn’t just be a boilerplate replication of what a state court looks like and promulgate those laws. But those laws should be traditional in nature. It should reflect our customs. It should reflect our customary law, our traditional laws, and we should know how to deal with those and inject those viewpoints into our decisions.”

Melissa L. Tatum:

“I don’t think I could draw you a picture of a strong and independent court system, because they can take so many different shapes and many different forms. I can tell you what the support beams are, and then the way the drywall and the paint and the decorating is going to be different. And the support beams may be put together in a different way to form shapes for different tribes. But you’ve got to have an independent judiciary, you’ve got to have the funding to be able to resolve the disputes, you’ve got to have someone to make a connection between the past and the present, and you’ve got to have the capacity to solve the disputes the community brings before you in a way that everybody accepts as legitimate. And that’s what a strong and independent court system looks like. Now that may be a peacemaker system, that may be an Anglo-style adversarial court, that may be a hybrid of the two. That may be, you know, the court may be in a single-wide trailer; the court may be in the most absolutely beautiful, technologically up to date building. But it can take a wide variety of forms. Its function is what’s critical.”

Miriam Jorgensen:

“I think that we oftentimes trip immediately to saying, ‘Oh, that justice system has to be a sort of Western-style court system.’ And in fact, I almost always find myself using the word court. But, it doesn’t have to be a court with the judges and robes and the bench and all that kind of stuff. It has to be a dispute-resolution mechanism that’s effective and efficient and transparent about the way decisions are made, and that can hold people to those decisions. But it can be as indigenous as you like. It just has to be one that works to meet those standards.”

Donald “Del” Laverdure:

“I think it needs independent decision-making authority without political interference, first and foremost. Secondly, I think it needs to be fully funded. My experience among tribal justice systems -- and I have served on a handful and also helped create a number -- is that they need the funding to have the staff, the clerks, the recorders, the people keeping track of the files. It’s absolutely critical for all of the day-to-day functioning. The third thing, I think, for them is to apply that nation’s law according to how they view it. And I think the Navajo Nation really has emerged as a leader in fundamental or Diné  law in their statutes, interpretation of those, and it’s widely accepted by the community. I think we’re making steps there. It’s always two steps forward, one step back. And I think if we have all of those markers that it’ll be the institution that we need to be independent and stable.”

John McCoy:

“They have to be independent. They have to be independent and not worry about political consequences. So consequently at Tulalip, the court system comes in, here’s the budget. So normally, without hesitation, they say, ‘Okay, here’s your money.’ They can’t tell them how to spend it; they just give them the money. And then the court administration then takes care of the budget. So you have to give them that autonomy.”

Anita Fineday:

“Well, you need to have a few things. Number one, you need to have independence from the tribal council, from all elected officials, whoever they may be. And this is a struggle in Indian Country, as we all know. It routinely happens that tribal judges are replaced if they issue a decision that is really unpopular. And so the tribal court needs to be independent, and it needs to have adequate funding. That’s the other thing that happens is I’ve seen tribal councils say, ‘Well, we’re not going to get rid of the judge, but we’re going to cut off all funding to the tribal court.’ So no one is getting paid any longer. So you need to have an independent stream of funding. You need to be independent of the elected officials. And you need to not fear that if you issue a decision that’s unpopular, that you’re going to lose your job.”

Rae Nell Vaughn:

“It’s just so important that when we have issues that come up through tribal court systems, that as a judiciary you’re giving well thought-out opinions, and it’s ironclad so that you can’t -- it won’t be unraveled. And there you go, you’ve lost more jurisdiction.”

Robert Yazzie:

“When Navajos go to court, they expect certain things to happen. One is to say [Navajo word], which means ‘my mind will become at ease’ when this problem that I have is addressed. And people look for a satisfied result. And so when people feel confident with the court system, especially establishing a relationship with the judge, knowing that the judge’s role will be carried out to bring peace to the problems at hand.

Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

NNI "Tribal Constitutions" seminar presenters, panelists and participants Robert Breaker, Julia Coates, Frank Ettawageshik, Miriam Jorgensen, Gwen Phillips, Ian Record, Melissa L. Tatum and Joan Timeche field questions from the audience about separations of powers, citizenship, blood quantum and other critical constitutional issues.

Resource Type
Citation

Breaker, Robert. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Coates, Julia. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Ettawageshik, Frank. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Jorgensen, Miriam. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Phillips, Gwen. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Tatum, Melissa L. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Timeche, Joan. "Constitutional Reform: A Wrap-Up Discussion (Q&A)." Tribal Constitutions seminar. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. May 2, 2012. Presentation.

Ian Record (moderator): "If we can have our panelists from the last couple days and speakers come up to the front. We have Julia [Coates], Frank Ettawageshik, Miriam [Jorgensen], Joan [Timeche]. We're also going to ask two other participants here to join us who have a great deal of expertise in the area of tribal governance and constitutions and constitutional reform. We have with us Melissa Tatum. Melissa is the new director -- she's actually been with the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the Law School here at the University of Arizona for three or four years -- but recently was promoted from Associate Director to Director of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, and she's got a great deal of expertise in this area, works with a lot of different tribes on these sorts of issues. For several years, [she] served on the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals, and so she has a lot of experience in the area of dispute resolution and why that is so critical to effective governance. Bob [Breaker] is a long time friend of the Native Nations Institute and is a former First Nations leader, or, I would argue, still a First Nations leader. He consults with a number of First Nations up in Canada on these sorts of issues. Gwen [Phillips] has now joined us, so we've got a full panel here, and you guys can just swing the microphones depending on who the question is being addressed to. We're just going to open it up for questions now. We've got some expertise here in the room, that if you guys have any other questions based upon what you heard from each other. I feel like after listening to your feedback in this last session, some of you ought to be up here as well talking about some of these issues. Anyone have any opening questions, or are you going to leave it to me to pepper these folks?"

Gwen Phillips: "Let me start with a comment actually. I was mentioning to Ian just during the break there that I've really, really tried hard and I try hard to follow appreciative inquiry. So when someone says to me, ‘How are you?' I used to say, ‘Not bad.' And then I thought, ‘What am I doing trying to be bad? I'm not bad.' So I try to say ‘pretty good,' keep to the positive. Now I was challenged because, maybe it's because I come from Canada where we had King George and his gentlemanly ways and it was a different situation down here with the Indian wars, etc., and maybe it's because the Canadian national anthem speaks about our home...and down here it's bombs and things, I don't know. But I'll tell you what I noticed. We've been grappling with concepts that are foreign in my culture. We've been talking about separation of powers, not about separation of responsibility or function, and that, people, creates a whole different paradigm in your mind. Power. Who doesn't want power? Well, I don't, because I know what it really means. It means responsibility. Then you have to actually have the ability to respond. I want us to start thinking about unpacking some of those varied terms, because we hear this concept of cultural fit, and when I asked about the concept of power with our cultural elders they said, ‘That's spirit. Power is spirit.' We've heard pipe and politics don't mix. So I'm suggesting, let's put politics aside and bring governance, because the pipe does fit with governance, it fits with ceremony, and when we bring our culture and customs back and we start talking about function and responsibility, it's a whole different conversation we perhaps can have, and maybe that goes back to the where do we start. So it was a really challenging time for me as I kept hearing about separation of power, separation of power, because I tell you, you give people power, they assume that role, so it might be just a thing for us to think about the words we use and how we bring them to life in our communities."

Record: "Gwen's comment calls to mind Governor Rich Luarkie from Laguna Pueblo, who we've been inviting to events like this to share how they govern. They have a very traditional governance system, much like Cochiti Pueblo, and Regis Pecos shared with you a lot about how they govern yesterday. And he said, ‘You know, when I was chosen to be governor, I wasn't given power, I was given great responsibility.' And I think this echoes what Gwen is saying is that when you think about how do we make sure that our governance system and our constitution reflects who we are as a people, reflects, protects and advances our culture, you've got to reconceive everything, because the federal government has spent the last 100, 150 years redesigning that paradigm for you. And it boils down to terms, it boils down to words, and you've got to start at the very, very basic foundations and kind of with a clean slate and not presume that everyone understands what separations of powers means. I've worked with a number of tribes where every campaign season that word, that term gets thrown around left and right, left and right, and I can tell that a lot of people that are throwing it around as they run for office, they have no idea what they're talking about. They have no idea what separations of power means. Usually, for them it means we're going to try to separate the current elective leadership from their power and then I'm going to have the power. We have a question over here in the back, I believe."

Frank Ettawageshik: "I wanted to expand just briefly on what I just heard, and that is what was shared with us earlier about the pipe and politics, and I like the way you put that. The pipe and governance do fit, and I think that's the, that's something that we really have to be aware of, because there are a lot of people who say we have to choose to be traditional or be involved in tribal governance, one or the other. Well, the thing is, our traditional governance was traditional, it was the spiritual part, all of that was involved in it. And so to me it's an important thing for us to think about, that perhaps the way that we perceive politics today certainly...I think back on a cartoon I used to have on my wall. It was one of those Ashley Brilliant cartoons. It had this...it was this cabin at the side of this big valley and there was a porch on it and there were two rocking chairs on it. And the sun was setting over the hills in the distance and these two older men were sitting in the rockers rocking back and forth. One leans over to the other and says, ‘You know, anybody who will do what it takes to get elected, is clearly unfit for office.' Well, to me I think that that sort of builds on what you were saying, and I really wanted to build on that because what we're really talking about, what I've gotten out of this conference has been the idea that it's not only a good idea, but it's essential that we tie what we do in our reforms of our governments, that we tie that to our traditions, and in some cases it's tie it to a thriving tradition. In some cases, we have traditions that are evolving or traditions that are being resurrected or strengthened again. But we have to keep that as the foremost reason behind us, because it really is what our identity is, it's where we come from, it's who we are, and that is essential to our inherent sovereignty. So I always feel that those are important things to think of and I wanted to expand on that briefly while I had that thought in my head. Thank you."

Melissa Tatum: "And could I expand on that a little bit further, because one of the things that I feel very strongly about is that tribes need to consciously claim the language of sovereignty when they're reforming their government, and that means using separation of powers if it's appropriate, if it's a cultural fit, adopting some other means of allocating responsibility and government functions depending on the tribe. But it also means being conscious of how certain words and phrases are viewed by other governments. For example, the three that I often use as examples are in the United States, tribes talk about membership and who's a member of a tribe. But private clubs have memberships, country clubs have memberships, governments have citizens. So we should be talking about citizenship and who are citizens of the government. One of the things that's used a lot -- I work a lot with tribal courts -- there's a movement to develop tribal common law, or it's sometimes called ‘custom and tradition' and then when lawyers, Anglo-American lawyers, hear this phrase ‘custom and tradition,' they're like, ‘Oh, how quaint. Custom and tradition.' But yet if you look at the definition of Anglo-American common law, it's the norms of society. That's what custom and tradition is. So simply instead of talking about custom and tradition, talking about common law triggers a different response in outsiders, even though it's the same thing internally. But the other example I use, since I work a lot in the tribal courts and the criminal justice system, is in the United States there's been some discussion in recent years about ‘banishment' and about tribes using banishment. But every government on this planet has a method of removing people who misbehave from their society. It's just usually called ‘deportation.' And so we need to be conscious of the words we use and the labels we put on things, because words do have power and do have meaning and we need to be conscious not only of internal fit, but how those words are received by the outside world, too."

Record: "We have a question in the back here."

Q: "I just asked Frank a question out in the hallway, and I'll sort of repeat it here for everyone and maybe get other perspectives as well. I was asking a little bit about the process of implementation, so that if perchance at White Earth or other nations are faced with the fact where we pass a constitution by referendum vote, then how are the different ways that implementation of that constitution might happen so that we can do that in the best way possible with hopefully the least amount of upheaval?"

Ettawageshik: "One of the things that we did is that we put a clause in our constitution that said that after it was adopted through election, it wouldn't go into effect until the officers that were going to run that government were elected and were sworn in and that that's the point when it would go into effect. It's really important to provide for that transition. Otherwise, you can end up with a real mess of who is responsible, who has...what duties do they have, and it can really be a mess. And so I really recommend that in any time that you're doing, to do amendments -- particularly ones that have a fundamental change in the structure of the government -- that you need to be sure to have something like that in there. The other one we put in was a clause that acknowledged all prior actions of the government. Basically it said that all prior actions of the government will remain in full force to the extent that they are compatible with the new constitution. So that leaves it open to interpretation. Someone can say it is, someone can say it isn't. What I said, what that does is it gives the court something to do for several years as you go through that process. But those are two things. From an implementation point of view, we went, it was important to us to... we'd been holding internal discussions, but it was important -- you know how they say an expert is somebody who's at least 500 miles away from home -- well, we had to hire somebody from at least 500 miles away to come to talk to us about this. But what we did is we brought them in and we gave them a copy of the constitution, we had them read it -- it was a couple of people that did this -- and we had them read it and we said, ‘We don't want you to tell us what's wrong with this. What you're here to do is to tell us how we implement this.' In other words, ‘How do we appropriate money under this, what kind of actions, describe the kind of actions that we're going to do,' so that we hear from someone else, and we had all of the council, the existing judges, we had the key staff, the tribal attorneys, everybody was in the room for this session that we went through where we had a period of time. And in our case, we did a full-day session on Saturday and on Sunday we swore in the new officers and had the constitution there. But for several weeks prior to that, we had taken, at council meetings we had passed certain things that would need to be in place that could exist under the old constitution and the new but would have to be in place. So we had a period of transition and it took several months to do that. So I would think that you need to anticipate that, you need to sort of think that process through and give some time, so that you don't just switch overnight from one to the other. Those would be what I would say, I'm not sure what other people may have to say on that."

Phillips: "Depending upon what constitutional reform you're doing, you may actually be able to do an incremental implementation, and for us that's been key, because we're talking about a whole big nation-rebuilding process, two years to get a vision adopted, two years to declare what our values are, etc. So what we've been doing is as we've confirmed something, we turn it into a regulation of some sort. It becomes a code, it becomes a policy, it becomes something, and then as it becomes complete, it's accepted, it becomes the norm. Then it's a lot easier to migrate those things that people can accept already into the master document. So if you look at an overall reform process that's going to take you ten years, pick the pieces you really need to have in place so that you can get comfort to move through those processes further and try to get some support for those incremental pieces and then migrate them to the master document later on."

Record: "Gwen brings up a really good point -- and Miriam, maybe you can speak to this, and I think she's getting ready to -- but I've seen some examples where tribes have staggered implementation of certain reforms, where in a referendum vote by the people they'll pass a certain number of reforms but those reforms don't all take place at the same time. There's a gradual acclimation process, which I think is very purposeful, where they want to do certain changes first and have those take effect first so people can begin to acclimate to the new way that things are going to be done."

Jorgensen: "I wanted to reflect on two different nations that we've seen kind of go through this sort of wave process. When you first do, implement a set of reforms, you're kind of going high and then you may slip back a little bit and you keep pushing forward. So anticipate that rush forward, pull back, rush forward, pull back thing. That's just the way implementation takes place, and know that that's going to occur. But I did want to talk about two nations, Osage Nation and Northern Cheyenne Tribe, which have had some mixed success but also have managed to do some reforms. Northern Cheyenne was done in the 1990s. They attempted a separation of responsibility, which for them they actually called their separation of powers ordinance, so that was a place where that term had meaning to them in a different way than power this way. They had a constitutional change and then they backed up that change with an ordinance in the way that Gwen has been talking about, to sort of clarify it and regularize sort of the agreement that was the constitutional-level agreement. And then they really tried to live that and they consciously lived it and here's what I mean. That when you would go there -- and I was doing some research at the time in the criminal justice area -- so I was spending a lot of time talking to the court and a lot of time talking to the legislature and a lot of time talking to the president and they would say, ‘Well, I can comment on that, but we don't make those decisions, because we have a separations of powers, here it is in the ordinance, here it is in our constitution.' They were very consciously engaging with those documents and publicly stating how they lived it. And so you talked to the folks on the court side and they said, ‘Well, I can speak to that and give you my opinion, but we do not do that. We have a separations of power and that's the job of the legislature.' So they were kind of embracing that. I think what's really interesting is that if you read -- and I'm not sort of saying this from a sort of Western hierarchical viewpoint but from rather looking at another tribe changing its constitution -- when you look at the early founding of the United States, a lot of the folks that we call our founding mothers and fathers had this notion as well for the Americans, that they said, ‘We're going to try to really live what we wrote down in those documents.' And they created in their writing and their public declarations that reference back to documents of change. So that was one of the things that Jefferson and Madison and folks like that were trying to do for the tribe of Americans who had just won their independence from the British.

And the third example I want to give is the Osage Nation. Two things that I think were interesting for implementation. First off, every time the new Congress of the Osage Nation under their new constitution passed a law, that the executive branch and the president's office, or I guess the chief's office, had to implement and the chief actually had to sign off on the laws -- that was part of their constitutional procedure. And sometimes he felt those laws were unconstitutional and he actually had to specify in a long note back to Congress why it had to go back to Congress to be fixed. And he had to refer in that memo, or his staff did, whoever wrote it for him, saying, ‘This is why I am not signing it,' and it had to refer to the constitution, the use of the constitution and why it was true. So again, that's that living the document. When I was watching, we took a class field trip down for a course that I teach down to Osage Nation and watched their Congress in action and the congress had actually hired a clerk to assist the speaker of the Congress in implementing the constitution, to say, ‘Okay, can we do this now? Is this what we do next?' I liked that because it didn't say, ‘Suddenly we passed a new constitution and every single member of our legislature or our council is suddenly an expert in the constitution.' Their clerk was their expert in the constitution, and that clerk made it their job to know exactly what to do, and if they didn't they were going to refer to advisors who would help them interpret their constitution. So it helped the Congress implement in a way that didn't assume that they, ‘Oh, we've got a new document, now we just implement it.' So they were trying to adopt these ways to live through their new documents."

Record: "One other thing that we've seen a few tribes do is approach it with the mindset -- and we've heard allusions to it this morning -- of saying, ‘We don't have to do everything that we think we might need to change at once.' I worked with one tribe where they did a lot of the right things. They put together a constitution reform committee that was independent of the political leaders, that represented a cross section of everyone in the community. They had elders, young people, traditional people, folks with Christian backgrounds -- all that stuff. They left them alone to do their work, do their deliberations. They had come to an agreement on several really important changes, things like creating a strong and independent court system, which you've heard over the last couple days is absolutely critical. But they got derailed because of one thing, which was a requirement for all elected officials to speak the language of the tribe. And because of that one conflict, it derailed the whole process, and to date that tribe has not been able to ratify reform, to ratify change, when they had so many other changes, critical changes that would have made their governing system incredibly more effective, [they] were not able to do that because of this one conflict. Because there were people on that constitutional reform committee that contemplated a future in politics who didn't speak the language, were deeply committed to the Nation, but didn't speak the language and said, ‘I'm not going to sign off on something that's going to preclude me from ever running for elected office.' So that's something to think about. I realize it's a very difficult challenge to consider when you think of the urgency of reform in many Native communities."

Tatum: "Could I just add one more thing to that. A lot of the comments are things to anticipate. I think one thing that has to also be anticipated when you're drafting a constitution is that unanticipated things are going to happen. There are going to be crisis points, and a lot of times having a process, an agreed-upon process or an agreed-upon manner of either who's going to resolve it or how it's going to be resolved is critical to making sure progress can continue, even if it's in waves. We heard a little bit about this this morning with Cherokee Nation. There have been several crisis points in the Cherokee Nation, but yet there's always been some sort of process come through, that the Nation was able to agree on a process and that kind of process is really important. So be thinking about that as you're drafting the constitution as well."

Record: "I had a question to follow up on this citizenship discussion. Gwen and I were talking actually before we started this session about what are the role of citizens in this new government you're trying to create? And should you be explicitly addressing the roles and responsibilities of citizens, not just your elected leaders and the people who are in charge of the government, but your actual common citizens? What is their role in the future of the nation? And how do you articulate that? And I know, Frank, you and I have had long discussions about this, and I know that your nation went to great lengths, for instance, to reconceive, ‘What is the role of government in the life of the nation?' And also in so doing trying to reconceive for the citizens what is their role in the life of the nation."

Phillips: "So the investigation I was looking at giving some conclusion to is, are there any constitutions that begin with rather than ‘We the people,' that begin with ‘I the citizen'? And the reason I say that is because in the work we're doing in defining our vision statement -- strong healthy citizens and communities, that component of it -- we're getting a pretty clear picture of what a strong, healthy Ktunaxa person is. So once we know that, who's obligated? Is it the government's responsibility to shape the citizen, or is it the citizen's responsibility to shape the government? Well, I think it's the latter, that it's the citizen's responsibility. So as soon as we put...but we've also, as I say, concerned ourselves with having the ability to respond, not just saying it's your responsibility but do you have the opportunity, do you have the comprehension you need, do you have all the variables. So I was suggesting that as we have this picture we needed to describe our government as being, ‘I am the citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation, I have a responsibility to insure I do the best I can with my life to not burden my people with my legacy of ill health and all that other crap that we bring to the table at the end of it all, and expecting somebody to come out with a big box of band aids and fix me.' So as we're having this conversation at home, people are saying, ‘Yes we have, yes we have.' And we're putting in these various actions. Somebody said they got a lot of action going on to battle diabetes but again, that's government creating a program to take care of a condition rather than saying, ‘Hello, whose condition is this?' So, I'm just interested to see where this might go as far as, and I'm going to take it home with me for sure and see if we can't work it from that place, ‘cause I think it is really an empowering...I don't know how many of you have the ‘us and them' thing going on at home, where ‘us' is the people and ‘them' is the government and how we reform the government either in the community government or at the nation level, it becomes the ‘them' and the ‘them.' The ‘them' is them at the community level and then there's the ‘them' at the...it's weird. But there's never the ‘I' in any of that. It's always the ‘we' and the ‘them' and the ‘us,' so I'm thinking it might be time to put the I's back into place."

Ettawageshik: "The simplest way that I think about this is to say that the government isn't the tribe, the government serves the tribe. And so on any given day, most of the tribal members are cooking and eating and working and having birthday parties and getting married or getting divorced or doing this or doing that or doing something else, and they're all going through their lives doing things and they don't really say, ‘Gee, I wonder what the council's doing right now? I wonder what the executive assistant to the chairman's doing right now?' Very rarely those thoughts are there. And so what happens is we -- those of us who are in the government -- we get so involved, there's so much pressure, and we get so overloaded with all of the things that are going on, and then we see the importance, these long-term things we have to be working on, and there's all this stuff we can't get to that we want to because we're too busy doing the things that we have to do right then. And there's all this stuff going on, and it's really easy for us to just forget that we aren't everything that's going on and so you get this very sort of view with blinders almost sometimes, the leadership. Plus, then we also have all of the tribal citizens coming in insisting that we do a bunch of things that maybe we shouldn't do. Maybe when they come in and say, ‘We want you to do this,' we say, ‘Well, that isn't my role, this is what the constitution says I'm supposed to do.' But most people will say, ‘You know, I'll look into that. I'll look into that and get back to you.' And so then they run off on an investigation doing something that maybe they really shouldn't be doing or however, and what happens is that our citizens, their expectation of the government, we have to really work on making sure that that matches what our documents are, so there's an education in this. But we have to be real careful to not think of the government as the tribe, and remember that the tribe can generally get along without us a lot of the time. They need us every now and then and when they need us they really need us, they put us out front and we do what we're supposed to do, but the rest of the time, we just sort of have to stay out of their way and let them be who they are and let the tribe do what it's going to do. We're not responsible for educating every child. We're not responsible for growing all the food or buying all the food. We're not responsible for that. We're responsible for helping to create an environment in which our citizenry can do all those things for themselves and that's really what the thing...and that's where the I's start coming in, that the people have that, ‘cause they expect the government to do too much. And we can't pander to those thoughts. So when they come to us, we have to be really careful, and so a big part of what I considered in my job as a chairman was to talk people out of doing things that were sort of, probably not in their best interest."

Julia Coates: "I have so many thoughts about this conversation, because I'm coming here today, to this whole event, with a great deal of deep pain and deep grief for what has recently happened in my government, because we have had all of this, everything. To me, we've been moving so energetically with all of these thoughts for the past 12 years under leadership that has been reelected over three times and this message of the government, ‘I'm not supposed to do all of this for you, some of this you have to do for yourself.' There's been a backlash to some extent. There's been a very strong backlash, and there has been an individual who -- and pander is exactly the right word -- has pandered to that backlash greatly in the whole situation. And the government, the tribe could go on without the government, but in my tribe at least we've got very clear evidence of what happens when the government isn't there, because the government wasn't there for much of the 20th century and we were plowed into the ground by federal policy. And the government may not be primarily a social services agency, it needs to act as a government, but part of its role as a government is to stand between its citizens and those forces that are coming at them, that the citizens themselves are not equipped to hold off necessarily.

The process of education is one that I'm extremely interested in with everything that has happened. This is where all of my efforts are going to be going for the next few years, because in reflection when I think back about, ‘What was the mistake? What was one of the major mistakes of this government that was working? All of the books on development that you all have put out and everything, I teach those, I would read those and I'd say, ‘We're doing this, we're doing this, we're doing this.' It was textbook and it was working. I'll tell you, in eight months we have taken 20 years off of that progress, and it's sickening to me what is taking place right now, and I just think the educational process has got to be, it's got to be part of it. It's got to come from the people, but it's got to come from the government as well. I don't think it's one or the other. I think there's got to, at some point, be a place where they meet up and they begin to have this dialogue. And in reflection, that may have been one of the greatest things, is that while I sat in as part of the government on a lot of conversations about vision and all of these kinds of statements, apparently that didn't get communicated to the people, we didn't get communication from the people about it to the extent that we thought we had. I was out there teaching it, a number of other people were but, and I don't know if it's just a matter of we're so big that it just is going to take a long time to get out there but..."

Tatum: "Could you add just a word or two about your work as an at-large representative and how the Cherokee approaches that, ‘cause you'll be out here again on Saturday."

Coates: "The Cherokee Nation has under the previous administration -- the present administration is doing something different -- but we had an initiative where we were able to identify areas where we had concentrations of our tribal citizens, mostly urban areas in the west, and we undertook a process of actually organizing them, because when you've got 3,000 households of Cherokees in Los Angeles -- where there are 15 million people -- how do they ever find each other becomes the first question. So we actually, as a government initiative, we actually started putting them together and helping them to form what we called their satellite organizations and we have 22 of them now, one of which is in Tucson and we have one in Phoenix also. And we began a process of strong interaction between the government and the citizens, but under the present administration again this is all being sort of derailed into politics. They saw these -- the people that I represent tended to be very, very strongly supportive of the previous administration, so my interaction with them is seen as a threat. They're trying to cut me off basically from being able to interact with my constituents. They're trying to place people who are basically cheerleaders for this administration into positions of working with them even though those people are not qualified to be doing this particular kind of work. So it's an initiative -- which rather than seen as something to build and strengthen the nation -- is something that is presently being regarded as the at-large people and their organizations are kind of a political football, have become that and have been made that, unfortunately. Very, very rapidly all of these things are taking place, and I just think about how long it takes. I mean we're talking here about years and years and years of building constitutions, and how hard that work is, and how long it takes to do that, and just watching how quickly it can be taken apart is so dismaying on the other hand as well.

But I think the educational process...we have recently started -- myself and a couple of other people -- our present tribal government is actually prohibiting us from teaching a tribal history course right now, because it is perceived that its emphasis on sovereignty is undesirable. They think we should go back to emphasizing culture, and there's nothing wrong with that, but who teaches sovereignty? Teaching cultural and social things is actually the more typical thing we find that is done in teaching tribal history. To teach a history of legal sovereignty, who does that? It's been tremendously effective, and that's the threat, that's the great threat. So it's even things like this that are coming apart. So we've started an initiative that we're going to have to fund somewhere else, we're going to have to try and build this as a really grassroots thing, which is hard, but we're calling it Education in Sovereignty, or at least that's the little behind he colon name of the project and that's what it's for. And it's just basically developing a number of workshops to help people understand how the government functions. How do you read a budget? Why is it important that your government doesn't run your businesses? Because we're heading back in that direction very quickly. All of these kinds of things that the people just don't understand, and the message that, ‘We're going to give you this, we're going to serve you in this way, you're going to get this program, you're going to get that house, you're going to get this' -- it really played well with the people unfortunately, and that was not the message of the previous administration and to some extent they went down because it wasn't the message."

Timeche: "I'd just like to follow up on some of the comments that were made earlier about individual versus tribal responsibility, and I'm always reminded about, constantly about our own upbringing in our own communities -- a lot of what Regis Pecos shared with us yesterday morning about core values, remembering who we are, remembering our identity. I was fortunate in that I was able to be raised in Hopi values that we're to be self sustaining, contributing members, citizens of our society and that we as individuals, we have responsibilities. Yes, we have rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. And I think that sometimes we take those things for granted, they're not written, they're taught to us by our parents, our Elders, our grandparents and our societies that we may be part of. Those are all engrained in us and we don't necessarily see it on paper, and we forget that it's there because we're bombarded by everything coming at us from all sides, and just the world as it's changing, quickly changing every day. So I think that if you think about some of the message that Regis was sharing with us yesterday, it's going back and taking that time to find out and remember and reinforce or reiterate, ‘Who are we? What do we believe in? What are our core values and who bears that responsibility to do that?' Because nobody is going to do this for us except us. It's going to be me, it's going to be people individually in my family. Each one of us bears that responsibility, and so we may write them in our constitution -- that was one of the proposed revisions in the Hopi constitution, this latest version, is to include an extensive list of a Bill of Rights. But there was no mention whatsoever about what our responsibilities were as individual citizens. So I think that's something -- I would really like to see that being added to my constitution."

Robert Breaker: "I just wanted to...I came as a participant, so I come from the north just to get replenished in regards to nation building. I do a lot of work with [First] Nations in Canada, and one of the exercises I always facilitate for leadership is to consider where you came from, what your original story is, and really have them articulate the journey that they've traveled to the current, and most times it's the same, absolutely the same. And so today, we talk about our rights. There's two types of nations that I come across. One is proactive nations that have taken the tools of constitution to establish their rights as a nation including their citizens. Others are reactive nations that haven't established those critical tools that they have had from the past and reenacted them in the formation of their clans, their societies, etc. And at the same time they're losing language, and always the question is, ‘If there is no more speakers of the language, can we call ourselves an Indigenous nation?' That's the dialogue that's occurring.

But I also have gone, more so in my nation...I would almost consider it a miracle. We have a young man that lives a good life and he goes and he fasts and he was given gifts and one of the gifts is our language. So here's an individual that through family not using the language, he lost the language, and so now he has that gift to not only lead ceremony, heal people, but also speak the language and I just say, ‘Wow. There is hope in relation to affirm, I guess, who we are through those processes whatever they may be.' But also at the same time, citizen engagement. A lot of nations are challenged when they look inside and they see a lot of dysfunctions, so always the thinking is, ‘The only happy people are the people that are healthy, that can think healthy, that can make healthy decisions.' So the biggest challenge in regards to citizenship engagement is to find ways and means to get our people healthy again and that way we can insure the continuance of our nations into a good future.

And I always say I think those are the challenges, and so when I do work with these nations, I also understand we have comfort zones through these colonizations and I always say [that] somebody needs to develop not only treatment centers for people with addictions to alcohol, to drugs, etc., etc., we also need treatment centers to not to think the BIA, INAC [Indian and Northern Affairs Canada] is the only good thing in the world -- that type of scenario. I just think this particular session allows individuals like myself to think beyond just what was given to us or forced onto us. We need to take back what was rightfully ours and continues in the future. So always the question is, ‘What legacy do I leave my children, my grandchildren?' And that's prayer -- to know who I am, be linked back into the societies, to know the songs, to know the ceremonies and all the things that are linked to who I am. And a part of that process is to ground myself, to really know who I am and what is it that I need to do in order to sustain my future of our nation. So it's a part of the citizenship engagement. So how do I -- I'm not elected leadership -- but in my own best way, I am a leader and I always have been, so how do instill that into the children, into the future generations to sustain who we are into the future? I just wanted to make that comment."

Phillips: "I wanted to pick up a little bit on just the comment around culture and sort of the course works in culture and social stuff on one side. That's all over the place. It's like we don't dare go and teach this stuff because it's this stuff, but we're safe teaching about these things over hear ‘cause it's kind of all out there. Well, guess what? We use this thing to do this because it's the same thing. We cannot talk about sovereignty without talking about our culture. In the work I do at home, in supporting our negotiations for treaty and developing our constitution and regulations, I had the challenge put to me by, and I'm smiling because this was to me like, ‘Oh, my god, really?' by the federal and provincial government. They wanted to make sure that our documents had a cultural fit and I said, ‘But we've been writing them ourselves from our people. I come from the community I...' But it was like, it was a boom for me, so I said, ‘Yeah, how do we know there's a cultural fit?' So I sat with the elders advisory and we went through all of these things and we came up with all of this list and it was good and it was directly, of course they were all there. But I just said to myself, ‘It's so clear that when they think of culture, they think about beads and feathers, and the rest of it all is whatever.' It's so critical to us that we don't let our kids think of culture as being the language only or making baskets, that we teach them the very essence of being [Ktunaxa language], of knowing where their root is and all of those things. That's governance, that's self-governance.

The other comment I wanted to make was the reason why it took us two years to approve a vision statement is because it's not the government's vision statement, it's the nation's vision statement. And the kids in the school drew pictures of what they saw it representing. It went all over to the elders, it got translated into the language and back again to make sure there was a cultural fit. Do we actually understand these concepts? And that was where we understood what strength was. When we said, ‘Define strength,' they said, ‘That's your spiritual power.' It wasn't about physical strength, it wasn't about all of these other things, it was that piece of it. And then healthy was those other things. Healthy was the body, healthy was the other things, but the string piece was the orchestration and the meaningfulness to bring those other things together. The values that we expressed are not the government's values, and believe me it's sometimes a choke for them to live up to those values, because one of them has been translated to a principle that says ‘ecological integrity takes precedence over economic gain.' Hmm. So what we are doing is developing -- outside of the constitution -- things like, we've got a strategic framework for the nation, which includes planning and evaluation cycles for all components from work plans all the way up to when do we evaluate the competencies of our governors, when do we look at structural issues, etc. because that's going to again inform us. Now we don't embed that in the constitution, because we don't know if it's going to work right, and that's why I'm thinking these ten years of amendments or ten amendments over ten years I'm going, ‘Oh, my god, our people would never have survived that. But they will adopt a set of values, they'll adopt that and they'll embrace that so we have to have the people, it has to be the people's,' ‘cause that's what again I'm saying about it's not the government, it's the people. So as of late, when we get these conversations about the us and them start to happen, it's a real reminder. We keep saying to people, ‘When you're a leader and they come at you like that you say, ‘I was a citizen before I took this chair and when I leave this chair I am still a citizen so what makes you think I'm different when I sit here.’ So we've got to try to remember that piece of it as well. You were, you are, you will be."

Q: "I have a question, but I want to make some comments first regarding the constitution that brought up. Our constitution, when we adopted it back in '86, the three branches, they were given four powers, the legislative, to make laws, executive to implement but also have the veto power, and the judicial to interpret the laws. All the rest that were put in there, and I agree, were just duties and responsibilities that we need to carry out, those aren't the powers. Those are duties and responsibilities. I agree on that portion.

Just a question. Yesterday, I heard regarding the enrollment. We have a problem regarding our own enrollment process. Yesterday, I heard about the blood quantum, putting in a degree of blood that may drive your tribe into extinction, but on the other hand, the way we have it set up on the Tohono O'odham Nation, it's based -- as far as to become a member -- it's based on your base roll, the descendants from your base roll. And there's another section that's based on residency. So when we look at those and looking at the trend, it seems to be heading in the same direction, going into extinction, because our blood degree is just getting lower and lower in both categories. So is there another way, is there another option that we can look at as far as without going extinct?"

Phillips: "We don't use blood quantum in Canada for the most part. However Indian Affairs tries to do it through a hidden mechanism in the Indian Act where they'll, ‘Your mother and your daddy and your...,' and pretty soon you're cut off, you're cut off through the status process. But as a nation in our treaty making, in our self-government expressions, and even prior to assertion of those things in a formal way, we've already said, ‘We don't care about status and we don't care about residency, that we as a nation will determine who are citizens.' And so we've created a number of categories, one of which is a descendancy through blood. But another one is adoption and there's another one that basically -- well, it's kind of a quasi adoption. An adoption would be sort of the formal place. But there's another one that's a recognition clause, and it's kind of in contention right now, because some of the elders, the real elders -- and I'll talk about the people that were there 100 years ago -- they'll tell us that, ‘Come, sit, let me talk to you.' After awhile -- and you were sharing these stories with us at the break -- pretty soon that person's a Ktunaxa. They think Ktunaxa, they act Ktunaxa, they speak Ktunaxa, therefore they are Ktunaxa. That's the old elders and then you get the ones that were sort of in the residential school place and subject to a lot of racism and subject to a lot of racial-program criteria and all of the above, and they get kind of, ‘Uh, no, you're white or you're this or you're that or the other.' We're coming back to that point of recognizing because of the loss of our language that it might be important for us to say, ‘Hey, you speak Ktunaxa, you want to speak Ktunaxa, you want to be a citizen?' That we might actually tie something to the language ability, because we need people to speak, and if people see a privilege of being associated with us and are willing to actually be a keeper of that language, some of us are going, ‘I don't care what color you are. If you will be an active keeper of the language, we will turn you into a Ktunaxa person.' So there's differences in opinion about what a Ktunaxa is, and as we describe strong, healthy Ktunaxa citizens, it doesn't say anything about blood. It's all about the way you behave, the things you do, the associations that you portray, etc. So there's some discussion underway right now because...and it's interesting, I was just saying to somebody, ‘Do you know what the Métis in Canada, what their symbol for their nation is?' The infinity symbol, because they have, it's all based on them just saying, ‘Oh, you're Métis, you're Métis, you're Métis.' But there's some governance interference in that right now because they're saying, ‘Oh, there's too many Métis.' Louis Riel, you can tell he was French, hey. He was an Indian, he had that French thing in there, he knew how to get a deal."

Ettawageshik: "I wanted to address that idea about citizenship. If you chose, you could become a naturalized citizen of most of the nation states in this world, and it would require renouncing other citizenships in some cases, some cases it doesn't, but you could go and you could study and you could learn and you could take a test so that you had the basics of what you needed to be a citizen. And somewhere along the line people started looking at us and thinking in terms of blood quantum, and they started to use it as a way of measuring us. And they sold it to us, they sold it to us so well that we think it's our own idea now. And we're living with it and we are, as I said yesterday and one of my favorite phrases these days is, why do we need an oppressor when we do his work so well? Well, this whole concept of tying citizenship to blood quantum is something that we're going to really have to think about in the future, because we have people who -- at home we refer to people that are -- we say ‘apples' -- they're red on the outside but white on the inside. In other words, they have, they look Indian, they maybe have an Indian name or Indian family name, but they haven't lived the culture, they don't know the language, they don't live on the reservation, and some of them don't even live anywhere near other Natives, and yet they still would meet the blood quantum requirement for being a citizen of our nation. Some people talk about when the blood quantum gets diluted we lose a lot. Well, it isn't just the blood quantum. When the knowledge of our culture and our language and the tie to our land gets diluted, have we not also lost just as much? And so somehow we have to be thinking about what it means to be a citizen and we need to think of, ‘If we were going to have a naturalized citizen of each of our tribal nations, what is it that we would require of that person to become a naturalized citizen?' Now, under all the regulations with the Bureau and all these other things, though we could never get any funding for this person, so we would have to think about what that meant, and there's all these other different issues that are out there. But we shouldn't be thinking about that as the criteria for what our citizens are, for what citizenship is, because that citizenship is really what's going to perpetuate us in the long run and we have to think about that. And we're nowhere near there, because I know across Indian Country the idea of, every tribe is doing this a little differently, and in many of the tribes there's a pecking order of who has the highest blood quantum and there's all this sort of social strata that develops in ways. But we've bought into that, and the question is, we should really seriously think about where this is going to go in the long run and how we approach this. So your question I think is a very thought-provoking one, and one that we have to address. Each of us are going to do it in a different way, but we really need to think about what is it that we need to be a citizen. And I look at it as sort of...the term ‘cultural literacy' from 20, 30 years ago, there were lots of books about this and everybody was all excited about it, but I've still been thinking about that because I read those books and I thought about ‘What does it take to be a culturally literate Odawa? And what does that mean? What things do you have to know in order to fulfill that role? What does it mean to be an informed citizen so that you can actually live up to your responsibilities not just demand your rights?' And I think that those are the kind of things that we have to do and I don't have answers. I just know that this is a question that in Indian Country and all across the Indigenous nations of the world all of us have to be thinking about this."

Coates: "When I address this subject -- and again I teach entire classes about this one topic of identity and sort of how it gets defined -- the three most prominent categories seem to be the political identity of citizenship and sovereignty, and I love it that people are shifting the language away from member to citizen, and that to me is the broadest sort of category. It's the one that is inclusive. The racial category -- which is what we're really talking about with blood quantum -- is probably the narrowest. And then you go to what I would call the ethnic or heritage or cultural category -- something along those lines -- which is broader than blood degree, but is still a more narrow category than simply that of citizen of a government. Because we also have to acknowledge that there are many citizens of governments that don't have that knowledge and maybe never will have that knowledge, but who are still willing to support those who do, to take action on behalf of those who want it and who will make an investment in those cultures, in those communities, in those nations nevertheless, even though they themselves may not hold out much hope for ever learning the language or being fluent in it and who may for whatever reasons not be able to acquire the degree of cultural knowledge. But we have to understand the racial one is the one that doesn't change. Everything else can change. There are potentials. As has been pointed out, you can relearn quite a great deal that you've never started out with. Culture doesn't flow in our bloods, it's something that we take on, and that investment, that understanding of nationality and of the people and of the communities is also something else that we can take on to greater and greater degrees and make those investments. So to me, those other categories, it's not about where people are in a fixed way, but it's about what people can become, and I think that that's what we have to, we have to open the doors for those possibilities, for those potentials, because if we don't, we're just going to have people drifting away into the generations. We're not going to be able to retain anybody with these very limited and fixed sorts of categories that we seem to be holding to."

Phillips: "...It's pretty much up to you when you determine when you want to start using the term ‘citizen' versus ‘member.' It's an internal concept, really. It's nobody telling you to do that. It's about you taking that on."

Q: "It's kind of like people using ‘Native American' versus ‘American Indian' versus all these other things that we've determined for ourselves and how we want to identify ourselves. So I think you have to be in a comfort zone when you express that so ‘citizen' for me is -- it's more standoffish for me. I don't identify with that because I identify that word with the United States government. That's just my feeling."

Phillips: "Yeah. And that, awhile ago probably would have been the feeling of some of our people, because they really looked at the membership with the Indian Act as being the only sacredness they had with relationship to who they were as an Indian. But as we've ‘Nike'd up,' people are saying, ‘No, no, we determine who we are. I am a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation, and our government has just as much authority as...' So what I've done is I've created little hierarchical charts that show, ‘Guess what, we've got the Canadian government up here and guess what, right along it we've got the Ktunaxa government, ‘cause we have just as much authority as they do.' And then I show the provincial governments and here's all the subsidiary governments below them. So our own citizens get empowered to see that, ‘No, we can confer citizenship, because we have the same authority as that other government does.' Hierarchical. So it's an evolutionary process, but what it's allowed us to do, because that's where the government has defined us as being a member, as having status, as being eligible for programs and services, as being enumerated for certain things. We've said that doesn't cut the mustard as far as our traditions go. ‘You're Ktunaxa, you're not a second-generation cut off by the Indian Act, etc., you're still Ktunaxa.'

What we've done by asserting authority off tribal lands into the mainstream region is we have actually allowed ourselves and positioned ourselves to generate funds that are not tribal funds. We get mainstream dollars for providing services to mainstream people. We provide services through street operations for street people that the municipalities can't even touch because they just don't go there. They don't want those people in their health clinics, they don't want those people. But they always find us. Our child and family agency, we've got people saying that they're Aboriginal when we know darn well they're not, because they prefer our values and our services which are positioned upon appreciative inquiry, going in and helping the family get well, rather than going in and saying, ‘This is a bad family, we've got to take these kids away.' So we actually, I've said to the province of B.C., ‘Wait long enough, we'll take you over. We'll slowly get your citizens believing in our ways of doing and being.' And it's starting to happen. We've got training by our agencies going on around the province and I've actually had to say to our director in one of our agencies, ‘Okay, you step aside, I'm taking on the minister now,' because they've issued a directive to our agency, one of our agencies that says we have to switch to this provincial standard for programs and services and we're going, ‘No way, when we used your standards we didn't have any good outcomes. When we've developed our own standards, we do things our own way, we've proven that we can succeed in your domain through your quality control mechanisms, but more importantly we've got better outcomes for our people.' So I'm ready for that. I would love to make a full public statement in the Globe and Mail to say, ‘This is what's going on, people.' So we have to consciously think about what we're doing internally, and how that impacts what goes on around us, and that's where we get a lot of support from all of those other people that, heck, we've got Niedermeyer, the hockey guy. He's standing up for our glacier, for [Ktunaxa language], so it's like, yeah."

Tatum: "One thing that I'm very concerned [about] from my perspective as an Indian law scholar is when the word ‘member,' and ‘tribal member,' started being used frequently in the U.S. Supreme Court opinions, that's when the court started drastically reducing tribal authority over its own territory, and it's the only time the Supreme Court has really started consistently reducing the authority of a government over its territory, is by introducing this word ‘member' frequently into the dialogue, and so that's one of my concerns, too."

Q: "And the reason why I asked that question was because in our constitution and by-law right now, that's the word that's used is ‘tribal member.' So I wanted to get your input on that so we can wrap our minds around it and take it back and dialogue on it and decide what is best for us."

Ettawageshik: "I just wanted to say that in our constitution that was written over that ten-year period, adopted 2005, it uses the word ‘member,' too, but we just stopped using the word ‘member' and when we have a, when we define in a law, we say ‘member' equals ‘citizen,' and then we use the word ‘citizen' all the way through everything so that we've been, that's the way we've been incorporating it into our, into the way we do it, and we nearly have everybody saying ‘citizen.'"

Coates: "Our treaties from the 1800s all say ‘citizens' of the Cherokee Nation of Indians in them, and the rhetorical writings of Cherokees from the 1800s, they commonly used the term ‘citizen,' so I think it's something pretty longstanding with us."

Q: "I was just wondering if it would benefit all of us to be standardized, and I don't know if that would benefit all because having you help me understand that really helps me think on this end to what is best for all. Thank you."

Record: "Well, thank you everyone. We are running a bit behind schedule and we need to wrap up the day and the seminar and get everyone on their way. We'd like to thank all the panelists for their wisdom and insights.