Tribes across the country are re-examining their constitutions


Erma Vizenor is not exactly a revolutionary. But like America’s founders, she’s on a mission to ratify a new constitution in her homeland – the White Earth tribal nation. Most Americans don’t realize that tribes have their own constitutions, which set down rules for everything from tribal government to citizenship. But many were built on models written by the U.S. Department of the Interior nearly 80 years ago. Times have changed, tribal leaders say. Today many Indian nations are expanding their economies, experimenting with gaming and hoping to include their own cultural touchstones and collective priorities in the document that governs them. As Minnesotans celebrated Independence Day last week, tribes across the nation were re-examining their own constitutions and looking for ways to recreate them for the 21st century...

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Hopfensperger, Jean. "Tribes across the country are re-examining their constitutions." Minneapolis Star-Tribune. July 6, 2013. Article. (, accessed July 10, 2013)