By Eric D. Lemont
Due to the fact that 1975, while the U.S. govt followed a coverage of self-determination for American Indian countries, a great number of the 562 federally well-known countries have seized the chance to control themselves and make certain their very own financial, political, and cultural futures. As a primary and an important step during this method, many countries are revising constitutions initially built by way of the U.S. govt to create governmental buildings extra attuned to local people's detailed cultural and political values. those new constitutions and the governing associations they convey are fostering better governmental balance and responsibility, expanding citizen aid of presidency, and supplying a less attackable origin for financial and political improvement. This e-book brings jointly for the 1st time the writings of tribal reform leaders, teachers, and criminal practitioners to supply a entire review of yank Indian international locations' constitutional reform approaches and the rebuilding of local international locations. The ebook is geared up in 3 sections. the 1st half investigates the old, cultural, fiscal, and political motivations in the back of American Indian countries' fresh reform efforts. the second one half examines the main major parts of reform, together with standards for tribal membership/citizenship and the reform of governmental associations. The booklet concludes with a dialogue of ways American Indian international locations are navigating the method of reform, together with overcoming the politics of reform, maximizing citizen participation, and constructing temporary and long term courses of civic schooling.
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Extra resources for American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations
While indigenous nations have a genuine desire to exercise self-determination, the federal government still sometimes defines its trust responsibility paternalistically, denying tribal governments the right to make their own political and economic decisions. The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ response to the current trust fund scandal2 exemplifies its desire to retain economic dominance over funds that should be handled by individual Indians, or tribal governments in the case of collectively held indigenous funds.
This is one argument for concentrating greater power in the executive—as long as there are attendant checks and balances on the concentrations of power. However, Native communities traditionally did not concentrate power in the hands of a central leader. Likewise, IRA governments and constitutions often do not have strong executives. In many tribal governments it is the legislative branch, and not the executive branch, that handles daily administration. So the notion of concentrated administrative power in the hands of an executive may be alien to many communities.
The two pueblo cases, both with stable and enduring traditional religious communities, exemplify creative solutions that tribes may develop in order to defy the need to change both economy and government. They demonstrate how institutional forms of government and community may well be preserved in a globalized market system. Success depends on a tribal nation’s desire to preserve its values, religion, and institutional relations. R E T H I N K I N G R E L AT I O N S H I P O F G OV E R N M E N T TO C O M M U N I T Y Consideration should be given to the secular nature of American government when compared to the interrelatedness of religion, family, culture, economy, and community in Native nations.
American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations by Eric D. Lemont